Peace & Blessings!!
My family has celebrated the principles of Kwanzaa for many years. After many years of celebrating this cultural/community holiday, I’ve realized just how integral of a part the principles play in my life. These seven principles are:
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Oscar Grant was restrained and laying face down on the platform. The bullet entered his back, pierced his lungs and ricocheted on the concrete below.
Back on July 9th we blogged about the senseless murder of (click here Oscar Grant) and the BART officer who killed him. Well today in Los Angeles, the officer was given the minimum sentence possible for the charge of manslaughter, 2 years including time served… (272 days) so it’s quite likely the MURDERER will be out next year.
This case is so sad. Not only was Grant unarmed when he was shot from behind while FACE DOWN on the ground, but his MURDERER will serve less time than former NFL star Plaxico Burress who shot himself in the leg in the club (dumb, I know).
For more on this story checkout this article by The San Francisco Chronicle
*** Picture from Google search***
He was called the “MORAL LEADER” of our nation… Sure he had his shortcomings and indiscretions as we all do; however his legacy in this nation and the world created in him a place in history that can’t be destroyed only, expanded.
Today, August 28, 2010 two groups will settle upon this nation’s capital. Some will go to renew and remember the legacy of Dr. King’s Dream, while others will go to “rally” to restore honor.
The fabric of America has changed since Dr. King rendered this historic speech, however there is still a thread which intertwines throughout today’s fabric as was in the fabric of 1963 and that thread is not only divisive and destructive, it too has evolved. It has evolved into a bitterness which stings more than the pressure from Bull Connor’s water during the height of the Civil Rights movement of the 20th Century.
Today 47 years later, you should know that the Civil Rights movement didn’t end after desegregation. The movement has slowed some and has been disguised for nearly 50 years but it has not ended.
Just two years ago the world watched this nation make a historic paradigm shift when it elected the first African American President of the United States, Barack H. Obama. Since that historic Tuesday of 2008, we’ve been confronted and reminded that Dr. King’s Dream has yet to fully come into fruition. In fact, the election of President Obama has provided us with the reality that we may have come far from the days of Bull Connor or even Barry Goldwater, yet we have inherited the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin & Rush Limbaugh.
As I read over the text of Dr. King’s Dream speech, I’m reminded of my favorite part which seems to be more apporopriate today than ever before in my 32 year lifetime:
“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.”
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