Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Dr. Maulana Karenga
New Year Wishes and Work: Pursuing and Practicing Peace
January 23, 2020
In this time of warmongering, weapon brandishing and the waging of war of various kinds against the vulnerable, revisiting this Kawaida stance and statement on the importance and essential good of peace is both needed and reaffirming. ... read more »
Considering King In Critical Times: Daring to Oppose War and Practice Peace
January 16, 2020
As we weave our way through the daily dose of lies and illusions, hype, hatred and hypocrisy from the White House, we must constantly question and be actively concerned about the relative sanity and real danger of those who continuously fake “imminent threats” and cry wolf to make war, and then try to wash away their sins of savagery with the dishonest indictment and blood of others. ... read more »
America Nodding and Nightmaring Towards War: Bedding Down and Mad-Maxing With Trump
January 9, 2020
It is an irony of history and a tragedy for the world that before we can finish making resolutions for a new and promising future, let alone begin building one, pathologies and problems of the past continue to pursue us, impose themselves on the present and threaten our very existence. And so, now we are confronted with the real possibility of a war in West Asia (the Middle East) which will no doubt, not only engulf the region, but also extend around the world. To speak of the pathologies and problems of the past is to speak of not only Trump’s thuggish act of war of assassinating Gen. Qassim Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Army and perhaps the second highest ranking government member, but also of the continuing legacy and brutal practice of empire, imperialism, raw and unrepentant. ... read more »
Resolving to be African in the World: Remembrance, Meditation and Recommitment
January 3, 2020
It is a fundamental Kawaida contention that we must bear the burden and glory of our history with strength, dignity and determination. Surely, the times ahead of us will demand of us the resourcefulness, resilience and righteous resistance by which we understand and assert ourselves in history and as history, embodied and unfolding. This means, in the language of everyday people, there can be no half-steppin’, no nick namin’ the truth, no spittin’ in the wind to see which way to go. On the contrary, we must be the storm riders and river turners Howard Thurman and Gwen Brooks calls on us to be. And like Harriet Tubman, we must reject individual escape, turn around towards our people, confront our oppressor and oppression and dare continue the difficult and demanding work and struggle to achieve freedom, justice, peace and other goods in and for the world. ... read more »
Reconcieving Our New Year Resolution: Remembering Our Work in the World
December 26, 2019
This coming New Year will be the year 6260 on our oldest cal­endar, the ancient Egyp­tian calendar, the oldest calendar in the world. And we are the oldest people in the world, the elders of humanity. In­deed, we are builders of a Nile Valley civi­lization named Kemet that was once called the Light of the World, the Navel of the World and the Temple of the world. Therefore, be­fore we lose ourselves in the established order ritual of new-year-lite resolution-making on everything from loss of weight to giving less to the lotto, we might want to pause, remember and think deeply, and then make resolutions worthy of our weight and work in the history of the world. And this requires that in the midst of the diminished and distort­ed portrait of ourselves painted by the dominant society, we remember and rightly conceive of ourselves in more truth­ful, dignity-affirming and expansive ways. ... read more »
Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message – 2019 ‘Living Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles: An All-Seasons Celebration and Practice of the Good’
December 19, 2019
Each year Kwanzaa provides us with a special and unique time to see and celebrate ourselves as African people in beautiful, uplifting and liberating ways. But it also offers us a set of principles which, if practiced throughout the year, ensure that Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, are not only subjects and references for a season, but also a lived and living tradition. Indeed, making Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba what Seba Malcolm called “a living reality” is made more compelling by their origins in a history and culture of righteous and relentless struggle by our people to bring and sustain good in the world. ... read more »
Righteous Reflection On Being African: A Kwanzaa Meditation
December 12, 2019
Kwanzaa is a time of celebration, remembrance, reflection and recommitment. It requires these practices throughout the holiday. But the last day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to deep reflection, meditation on the meaning and measure of being African and how this is understood and asserted for good in the world in essential, uplifting and transformative ways. ... read more »
Symbols and Insights of Kwanzaa: Deep Meanings and Expansive Message
December 5, 2019
Kwanzaa was conceived as a special time and space for celebrating, discussing and meditating on the rich and varied ways of being and becoming African in the world. It invites us all to study continuously its origins, principles and practices and it teaches us, in all modesty, never to claim we know all that is to be known about it or that our explanations are only for those who do not know much about its message and meaning. For each year each of us should read and reread the literature, reflect on the views and values of Kwanzaa and share conversations about how it reaffirms our rootedness in African culture and brings us together all over the world in a unique and special way to celebrate ourselves as African people. One focus for such culturally-grounded conversation is on the deep meanings and message embedded in the symbols of Kwanzaa which are rooted in Kawaida philosophy out of which Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba were created. Indeed, each symbol is a source and point of departure for a serious conversation on African views and values and the practices that are rooted in and reflect them. ... read more »
Rethinking Thanksgiving: Beyond Big Turkeys and Small Talk
November 28, 2019
The histories and holidays of the oppressed, colonized and enslaved are, of necessity, different from the history and holidays of the oppressor, the colonizer and the enslaver. Likewise, their interpretations of those histories and holidays also differ, for they are lived and learned from different standpoints. Thus, the Palestinians call the conquest and colonization of Palestine, the Nakba—the Great Catastrophe, and the Israelis call it the war of independence. The Native Americans call the conquest and colonization of their land and the decimation of their people genocide and Holocaust.  The Europeans call it “discovery,” “the move westward,” “reaching the promised land,” and other self-sanitizing words and phrases. ... read more »
Uplifting the Liberator, Harriet Tubman: Unmasking the Imposter, Harriet of Hollywood
November 21, 2019
Part 1.  The conversations and controversy surrounding the movie “Harriet” of Hollywood seems, at first sight, to be simply about Harriet Tubman, the liberator, the Harriet Tubman of history. But in a larger sense, it is about Black people, about: how we see ourselves; how we see our heroes and heroines; how we understand and honor our history, especially the history of the Holocaust of our enslavement; how we think and feel about male/female relations; and how we relate and respond to our oppression and our oppressor. And it’s about our willingness and ability to rightfully uplift Harriet Tubman, the Liberator, and unmask Harriet of Hollywood, the imposter, regardless of the seductive propaganda by the illusion-making, myth and money-producing enterprise we call Hollywood. ... read more »
Focusing on Freedom with Harriet Tubman: Enduring Advice on Relentless Resistance
November 14, 2019
Indeed, for her, freedom meant more than seeking and finding a comfortable place in oppression and letting those who would and could follow you. That is why, having escaped form enslavement, she could only feel free and happy for a brief while and was thus compelled to turn around and bring all she could out of bondage so that they could enjoy the collective and inclusive freedom both she and they needed. For she tells us that all the people she loved and knew and who suffered and longed for freedom were back in the belly of the beast, fighting daily against the deadening, debilitating and acidicly corrosive and erosive effects of the Holocaust of enslavement, and she was determined and duty-bound to liberate them. ... read more »
Remembering Times of Revolution and Revolt: Recapturing the Spirit, Pursing the Practice
November 7, 2019
It was a fundamental teaching and central source of battlefield talk, derived and discussed in the Sixties about the motion and meaning of history. There are, we assumed and argued with no small amount of certainty, two tendencies in history, that which is rising, grounding itself and growing stronger and that which is dying, decaying and passing away. And we defiantly declared that we and other oppressed and struggling peoples of this country and of the world belong to that rising tide of history. Likewise, we asserted with equal surety that oppressors of all kinds—racists, colonialists, capitalists, imperialists—and their lackeys, collaborators, hirelings, henchmen and handmaidens, belong to the declining side of history. And they would eventually be defeated, and freedom and justice for all would emerge and triumph in the world. ... read more »
Trump’s America By Dawn’s Early Light: Notes on Lynching, Lying and Seeking Justice
October 31, 2019
Pushing back the thick fog and fumes of the putrid propaganda of White supremacist triumphalism, what can we really see and sing by the dawn’s early light except Trump’s deformed and deficient conception of America unmasked? For all the hype, hustle and hypocrisy around “making America great again," it presupposes an imaginary past void of its victims and of the violence, genocide, enslavement, segregation and other forms of decimation and oppression they suffered. And such a deficient and dishonest vision also fails to confront the contradictions obvious and oppressive in the lived conditions of current daily life in America. For surely there is no greatness in greed and no virtue or bravery in creating and indicting victims; no freedom, justice or honor in oppression, imperial aggression and betrayal of allies; and no pride to be praised in corporate plunder and predation against vulnerable others and the earth. ... read more »
Righteous and Relentless Struggle: Reflections on the Principle and Practice
October 24, 2019
(Remembering, reflecting and recommitting.) We cannot say it too often, stress it too much and certainly must never downplay in any way the definitive, determining and decisive role the principle and practice of righteous and relentless struggle have played in the self-conception, ... read more »
Essential Teachings of Messenger Muhammad: A Careful Kawaida Reading
October 17, 2019
In re-remembrance and reflection on the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s contribution to our self-consciousness and self-assertion as a people in that critical time of turning and overturning we call the Sixties.This is a careful Kawaida reading of some of the essential teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in rightful remembrance and respect of his life and work in the wilderness of oppression and illusion in this country, in this the month of his birth, (October 7, 1897—February 25, 1975). ... read more »
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