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Nguzo Saba
Summer Will Not Save Us: Faultlines, Battlelines, Affirmation and Resistance
May 7, 2020
In this winter of pandemic devastation and an ice cold lack of official focus, concern and actions to address our unequal suffering and disproportionate number of deaths, there is talk of summer possibly lessening the overall impact of the virus. But even a lessening of the overall impact of the virus does not mean we will benefit equally or similarly by it. For like all the other trickle-down, “rising tide and lifting all boats pablum,” it does not recognize that equal effect requires equal capacity and conditions which we lack. Moreover, we know our problems of health and life are not seasonal, but social.   ... read more »
Black Love: A Complementary and Species-Compelling Need
February 13, 2020
This is a reminder and reinforcement for Black Lover’s Day this month and each day all year round. It is not an exaggeration to state that there is no issue of greater importance, urgency or enduring impact in terms of the foundation, functioning and future of us as a community and a people than the quality of male/female relationships. ... read more »
Celebrating Kwanzaa in the City: Highlighting Some Major Activities
December 19, 2019
This marks the 53rd annual celebration of the self-determined, culturally-grounded and family and community focused holiday, Kwanzaa. Celebrated by millions of people throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa is a seven-day (December 26-January 1) pan-African and African American holiday created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies, Cal State University, Long Beach and executive director of the African American Cultural Center (Us). ... 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 »
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 »
Us Reminiscing at Half Century and 4: The Architecture of Our Work and Will
September 5, 2019
On this our 54th anniversary, I remember and raise up the momentous marking of our 50th anniversary. I said then and reaffirm now with four added years this. September 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our organization Us, the introduction of the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and Kawaida philosophy), and the establishment of the African American Cultural Center. These signature events and initiatives in our history as an organization also have a unique history in the intellectual and political culture and history of our people. In fact, we would argue, with due modesty, that no other organization of the Black Power period of similar size, with no real budget and no hidden or exposed European hand, influencing or directing it, has had more impact on the political and intellectual culture of our people since the 60s. ... read more »
Remembering the Watts Revolt: A Shared Condition, Consciousness and Commitment
August 29, 2019
The Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Revolt occurs in the context of a larger history of Black struggle, sacrifices and achievements: the assassination, sacrifice and martyrdom of Min. Malcolm X; the Selma March; the Voting Rights Act; the founding of our organization Us and the African American Cultural Center; and the introduction of the Black value system, the Nguzo Saba, which became the core values of the pan-African holiday Kwanzaa and of Kawaida, a major Movement philosophy of life and struggle. ... read more »
A Kawaida Rightful Reading of History: Culture, Consciousness and Struggle
July 18, 2019
In Reaffirmation for the 43rdAnniversary of the KIPAS Seminar in Kawaida Theory and Practice (21 July to 27 July 2019). A rightful reading of history and the signs of our times unavoidably evokes concerns and calls for a critical assessment of where we are and to what tasks we should direct our attention and efforts in our ongoing quest for a free and empowered community, a just and good society and a good and sustainable world. ... read more »
Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message “Reimagining and Remaking the World: A Kwanzaa Commitment to An Inclusive Good” 
December 20, 2018
Kwanzaa is a festival of harvest and celebration of the Good, the shared good, the shared good of field and forest, of fruit tree and flower, the shared good of wind and waters, rainfall and riverflow, of life and all living things, in a word, the shared good of the world in all its wonderful abundance. ... read more »
Remembering the Million Man Match: Reflections on Memory and Mission
October 25, 2018
There is so much damage done to memory and mission in our lives and to our sense of self by large and small conces­sions to the constant call to let go and move on re­gardless of what is lost or left behind. We sacrifice so much in our rush to for­get, stay in style or keep in harmony with the official writers and rulers of so­ciety. However, whatever we are and will become, we must give appropriate attention to our history, in spite of all the counsel from outside to forget the past, worship the present and forfeit our future for things embraced and en­joyed now. ... read more »
Choosing to Be African: Struggling and Striving Ever Upward
September 27, 2018
Again, this is in sankofa remembrance for our 53rd anniversary of our organization Us in righteous and relentless resistance. And thus, it is about reaching back, retrieving, reflecting, reconstructing and recommitting ourselves to a radical and righteous reconception and transformation of ourselves, society and ultimately the world as was our founding mission in those turbulent and transformative years of the Sixties. In the 60’s when we first collectively declared that we are an African people, we did not do so simply to reaffirm our historical source of origin and reclaim a history as old as humanity itself. We did it also as an act of self-determination, a reaffirmation of our right as the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, say, “to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.” ... read more »
Message From Watts: Liberation is Coming From A Black Thing
August 16, 2018
The year 1965 began on an ominous and unsettling note—the assassination and martyrdom of Malcolm X, the Fire Prophet. Even in the white and winter cold of February, it was a sign of the coming fire. Indeed, it pointed toward the fiery fulfillment of prophecy which Malcolm, himself, had predicted. It was there, too, in the title of James Baldwin’s classic, The Fire Next Time. And it was the topic of countless conversations around the country. Baldwin had taken his title from a line in a Black gospel song which says: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time.” And this, for us, was the fundamental time of turning when the fire would be this time. ... read more »
Institute of the Black World 21st Century Conference
August 9, 2018
More than two thousand came from the greater Newark/New York region, Black America and the Pan-African world, drawn by the urgent impulse to connect, network, bond, share and unite in the wake of the most hate-filled, demagogic and divisive presidential campaigns that produced a presidential regime, elected by less than a majority of the popular vote, embedded with racism, white nationalism and Islamophobia.  It was one of the most threatening moments since the arrival of Africans on these hostile American shores. ... read more »
Continuing to Move Defiantly Forward: Righteously Resisting the Backward Thrust
September 21, 2017
Continuing to reach back and reflect on the ground on which we stand, the essential and upward lifting work we do and the righteous and relentless struggle we wage, this is a statement I wrote for our 40th anniversary and posted on our Us website. It is no less real or relevant today and merits critical consideration as we continue defiantly forward in the midst of the backward yearning, yelping and rightwing madness that surrounds us. ... read more »
Holding the Line and Keeping the Faith: Marking Us’ Half-Century of Struggle and Achievement
October 7, 2015
From September 24-27 activists-intellectuals, social and racial justice activists, educators, ministers, teachers, professors, social workers and other professionals, students and everyday people from across the country gathered to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Organization Us and the African American Cultural Center, and of the introduction of the organization’s philosophy, Kawaida, and the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles) at the Nguzo Saba 2015 Conference and Awards Luncheon held here in Los Angeles. ... read more »
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