December 28, the third day of Kwanzaa, observers of the holiday honor Ujima, the commitment to active and informed togetherness on matters of common interest. It is also recognition and respect of the fact that without collective work and struggle, progress is impossible and liberation unthinkable.
Moreover, the principle of Ujima supports the fundamental assumption that African is not just an identity, but also a destiny and duty, i.e., a responsibility.
In other words, our collective identity, in the long run, is a collective future. Thus, there is a need and obligation for us as self-conscious and committed people to shape our future with our own minds and hands and share its hardships and benefits together.
Ujima principle teaches each family member to recognize that their own well-being is derived from their family and community’s well being and that they must be concerned with the overall health of their family and community; and that the lives of each family member and that of the community are bound together.
Ujima: “To build and maintain our community together and to make our Brother’s and sister’s problems, our problems and to solve them together.”
Read this story on BK Reader about a local group effort to start a food coop in Bed-Stuy; a great example of Ujima.
Today, let’s think of ways to build collective work and responsibility for one another!