Tuesday, June 18, 2019
CLOSE
 
Wendy’s Window-Nia: Our Purpose Through Family
By Wendy Gladney
Published January 3, 2019

Wendy Gladney (File Photo)

As we bring closure to the holiday season, Kwanzaa is a celebration that was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to ensure a way that African Americans could honor their culture and heritage.  There are seven core principles that are highlighted during the last week of December where families (and communities) can participate in restoring African American people to their traditional greatness.  The seven principles are:

  • Umoja – Unity
  • Kujichagulia – Self Determination
  • Ujima – Collective work and responsibility
  • Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics
  • Nia – Purpose
  • Kuumba – Creativity
  • Imani – Faith

The fifth principle of Kwanzaa, Nia, speaks to me because of my commitment to family and legacy. It focuses on the necessity for us to be responsible to those who came before us (our ancestors) and to those who will follow (our descendants).  Nia highlights our purpose (individually and collectively) with a strong focus around family. Family and community serve as a conduit for human development and the ability for all of us to thrive. When the family fails, society fails. Family serves as a safety net and the place where we can always return when the world pushes us away. Family helps us get back to our center, which reminds us of our greatness and helps guide us to our purpose.

Growing up my primary caregiver was my paternal grandmother.  Time has a way of revealing the magnitude of someone long after they are gone.  My grandmother was the glue in our family and her home was the central focus that brought us all together.  Since her passing my home has become the place where my family gathers for holidays and special occasions.  Her example taught me to always make a little extra food in case someone stops by unannounced; to make sure I offer a bed to someone who may need a place to lay their head; to not be in such a rush where I don’t make time to pause and listen to someone that has a heavy heart; and finally, to always have a little cash stashed in case someone needs a few dollars before they leave my home.

Wendy Gladney, Dr. Maulana Karenga and his wife Tiamoro Karenga. (Courtesy photo)

African Americans are a great people with a rich heritage.  I am proud of my complete heritage.  Over the holidays my daughter and I were sitting discussing our family heritage. We’ve discovered I am 50% German; 13% Benin/Togo; 12% Cameroon/Congo; 8% Ivory Coast/Ghana; 7% Mali; 4% Great Britain; 3% Nigeria; 2% Ireland and Scotland; and finally, 1% Sweden. Although the majority of my ethnic breakdown is more White than Black, we know the one drop rule (if you have one drop of black blood you are considered Black) and the fact that I was raised by my paternal African American grandmother, I feel it is my purpose to make sure my descendants understand their history and are proud of where they come from.  It is important that history is not lost on the next generation. What role do you play in bringing your family legacy to life? This just may be your purpose.

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.comand www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is an international coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Categories: Opinion | Wendy Gladney
Tags: | | | | | | | | | |

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!



Since 1933 The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself.
86 Years of LA Sentinel.
Black News.
SEARCH:    
Videos


Photo of the Day

Events

LA Sentinel
in your pocket:





NIPSEY HUSSLE
COMMEMORATIVE EDITION

LA Watts Times


TOS-Cookbook-Web

© 2019 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

AboutArchivesContact UsCorrections & MisprintsMedia Kit

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »