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Kawaida
Living a Kawaida Life: Self-Understanding, Relatedness, Striving and Sharing Good
June 10, 2021
One of the greatest and continuing challenges of our lives, in both ordinary and extraordinary times is to know how to live a good life and then to actually live it in a conscious, committed and determined way. ... read more »
Concerning Limbiko’s Legacy of Good: Kawaida Principles and Practice of Education
May 27, 2021
As we celebrate the graduation of our young people stepping into the world and continue the critically important struggle for quality education for our children, I think of all the Seba, the teachers of the good, the right and the possible, that I’ve known. ... read more »
Concerning Kwanzaa, Race and Religion: Particular, Universal and Common Ground
December 17, 2020
This is a revisiting of an early and ongoing conversation about the shared meaning of Kwanzaa, its particular cultural message to African people, and its core values that speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the world and for the world. It raises the constantly relevant issues of race and religion and how they relate, not only to Kwanzaa as a holiday, but also to us as a people. ... read more »
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Symbols and Insights of Kwanzaa: Deep Meanings and Expansive Message
December 10, 2020
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. ... read more »
The Moral Meaning of Our Struggle: Saving America From Its Trumpian Self
October 29, 2020
During the civil rights phase of the Black Freedom Movement, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) chose as its motto: “To Save the Soul of America.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., SCLC’s principal theorist and social philosopher, explained that it was really to reaffirm that “America would never be free or saved from itself” until African Americans are freed “completely from the shackles they still wear.” He said it was a question of concern for the integrity and life of America. And as I read it, it is a question concerning the very life and death of the people of America, caught up, at that time, in a monstrously immoral war against the Vietnamese people and wasting lives and resources better spent on the well-being of the American people. ... read more »
Us’ 55 Years of Unbudging Blackness: Africa as Our Moral Ideal
September 17, 2020
Now the interrelated moral imperative to be ourselves and to free ourselves is intimately related to our commitment as advocates of Us to the principle and practice of unbudging Blackness and the deep-rooted and irreversible embrace of Africa as our moral ideal. To talk of our Blackness, again, is to talk not simply of our color, i.e., our appearance and genetic makeup, but also and most defining in distinctiveness, our culture and our self-conscious practice of it. In a word, Blackness at its core is about culture and consciousness and commitment to constantly maintain, cultivate and expand both without dismissing or diminishing respect for our color in its various shades as identifying attributes. ... read more »
Us’ 55 Years of Unbudging Blackness: Africa As Our Moral Ideal
September 10, 2020
Since I first conceived Us as a vanguard organization and called its founding meeting in the wake of the August Revolt and the martyrdom of Min. Malcolm X, we have been committed to three overarching and interrelated goals: cultural revolution, Black liberation and the radical reconception and reconstruction of American society. ... read more »
Meditating on the Meaning of Struggle: Valuing Our Inward and Outward Striving
April 16, 2020
In reaffirmation. Those of us who still wage righteous and relentless struggle inwardly and outwardly to live a liberated, good and meaningful life will continuously find invaluable sources for grounding and growth in the enduringly relevant and deeply insightful sacred teachings of our ancestors found in the Odu Ifa, especially in this critical time. ... read more »
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Lifting and Holding Up Heaven: Women’s and Men’s Work in the World
March 5, 2020
It is a fundamental tenet of Kawaida philosophy that practice proves and makes possible everything, that is to say, practice brings it into being, makes it real, relevant and worthy of the name and quality it claims, whether it is love or life, parenting or peace, teaching or learning, art or ethics, science, religion or righteous resistance. And so, in this month of March which pays rightful and focused attention and homage to women and calls for recommitment to secure their rights, respect their dignity and address adequately their rightful needs and aspirations, the question is always of how this is translated in practice, how is it brought into being and made real and worthy of its name and claims? ... read more »
Walking With Woodson in History: Seeking Truth, Justice and Transformation
February 20, 2020
Again, so we might remember and raise up, pursue and do the good. We owe this month of meditation, celebration and recommitment to increased study of our history to Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), the founder of Black History Month, who rose up from the evil and debilitating depths of post-Holocaust segregation and suppression to point to a new way to understand and assert ourselves in history and the world. ... 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 »
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 »
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 »
Us, Culture and Struggle: Ultimately Engaged and Achieved on the Ground
September 19, 2019
This is a sankofa retrieval of thoughts on an anniversary past that still reveals positions and principles as relevant and real as rain in monsoon season. And it is reflective of the deep and enduring commitment we of Us have to the priority of our people, opposition to our oppressor and oppression, and to a communitarian African way of life and thus to the unfinished and ongoing liberation struggle we must continue to wage to achieve this. ... read more »
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