On the sixth day of Kwanzaa, celebrated on Thursday, December 31, observers honor the sixth principle which is Kuumba (creativity).

Kuumba is the commitment to being creative within the context of the national community vocation of restoring our people to their traditional greatness and thus leaving our community more beneficial and beautiful than we inherited it. The principle has both a social and spiritual dimension and is deeply rooted in social and sacred teachings of African societies.

In ancient Egypt, creativity was both an original act or imitation of the Creator and a restorative act also reflective of the Creator constantly pushing back the currents of chaos and decay, and revitalizing and restoring the natural, spiritual and cosmic energy of the world. This was a spiritual and ethical obligation to constantly renew and restore the great works, the legacy of the ancestors and the creative energy of the leader and nation.

It was considered doing Maat, i.e., reaffirming and restoring truth, justice and righteousness, harmony, balance, order, rightness, etc. Each pharaoh saw his or her reign, then, as one of the restoration of Maat, i.e., the reaffirmation, reestablishment and renewal of the good, the beautiful and the right.

Kuumba: “To do always as much as we can in the way that we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it.”

For Brooklyn performer, activist and politician Paperboy Prince, creativity is a powerful tool they use for community empowerment. Whether it’s at live performances, art shows, rallies, or just on the street, Prince brings their free-flowing style and energy to build community spirit and encourage neighbourly connection and development.

Read this story on BK Reader about the Love Gallery, Prince’s first brick-and-mortar space that will house art shows, mutual aid ventures and events.

Let’s begin to think of ways we can harness our creativity and make it productive through Kuumba!

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