LOADING ...

kwanzaa's posts - English uPOST

Angela Helm Angela Helm Jan 02, 2020. 1 comments

Free Cyntoia: It Was Her Faith That Made It So, Long Before She Left Prison

Free Cyntoia: It Was Her Faith That Made It So, Long Before She Left Prison

It is most appropriate that we open on this Sunday morning—it’s Wednesday afternoon, you say? Oh. Excuse me, er, that we open on today, in the Christian tradition, with this quote from the King James Version of the Bible: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

As Jesus noted above, faith is a powerful thing, and it has been mighty powerful for...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 31, 2019.

There Was but One Creative Gawd Who Smote All Others in 2019. Mr. Billy Porter Is Kuumba Personified

There Was but One Creative Gawd Who Smote All Others in 2019. Mr. Billy Porter Is Kuumba Personified

If there’s one thing black folk are, it’s creative. Whether through necessity or just burned into our melanin-ness, we make sumptuous meals from scraps, our bodies defy gravity when we dance; and we have reimagined fashion, hair, sport, ways of looking at the world, and even naming our children in our burnished image (even if we rarely get the credit or coinage for our contributions). We are...

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 31, 2019. 5 comments

Resist! Maxine Waters Stayed True to Her Purpose of Impeaching the Orange Menace

Resist! Maxine Waters Stayed True to Her Purpose of Impeaching the Orange Menace

On this fifth day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate Nia, which means purpose, and also surges in popularity as a name every time Nia Long releases a film. “Imani” is the only other principle that even comes close, according to research from the Love Jones Institute for Boyz in the Hood.

My aunt Kujchagulia Ujima Jenkins disagrees. But I digress.

So yes, Nia is a word you have most likely heard, and the...

5 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 30, 2019. 4 comments

Ujamaa That! Annual Kwanzaa Crawl Brings $250,000 to Black Businesses in Gentrifying Harlem and Brooklyn

Ujamaa That! Annual Kwanzaa Crawl Brings $250,000 to Black Businesses in Gentrifying Harlem and Brooklyn

Even us anti-capitalists recognize that economic freedom is power in the good ole US of A. And as it relates to Kwanzaa, on this fourth day, we celebrate Ujamaa (ooh-jaa-mah), meaning cooperative economics and also, “shared wealth and work”, “economic self-reliance” and “obligation of generosity.”

Last year, we feted Richelieu Dennis , and in 2017, it was Chance the Rapper .

This year we are...

4 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 29, 2019.

Randall Woodfin’s #BirminghamPromise Embodies Ujima, or Collective Work and Responsibility

Randall Woodfin’s #BirminghamPromise Embodies Ujima, or Collective Work and Responsibility

On today, the third day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate the principle Ujima, or collective work and responsibility.

Last year, those who embodied Ujima were the founders of GirlTrek , Vanessa Garrison and Morgan Dixon; in 2017, it was Patrisse Marie Cullors . This year, the honor goes to Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, who promised that starting in 2020, any Birmingham City School student who...

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 28, 2019. 13 comments

Baltimore Raven QB Lamar Jackson Is the NFL’s Probable MVP, Quite Possibly a Superhero and the Personification of Self-Determination

Baltimore Raven QB Lamar Jackson Is the NFL’s Probable MVP, Quite Possibly a Superhero and the Personification of Self-Determination

On the second day of Kwanzaa, the black nationalists gave to me…a hard-ass word to pronounce! But in fact, Kujichagulia (pronounced: koo-gi—as in Coogi sweater—cha–goo–lee-ah—as in Aaliyah) is probably my favorite principle in the Kwanzaa pantheon.

To practice Kujichagulia, or self-determination, always celebrated on Dec. 27, is to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and...

13 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 26, 2019. 3 comments

Certified Genius Nikole Hannah Jones’ 1619 Project Embodied Unity in 2019

Certified Genius Nikole Hannah Jones’ 1619 Project Embodied Unity in 2019

Some years, when we say an entity (person, persons of note, or not) embodies Umoja, or unity, the first principle of Kwanzaa, it is because their actions bring together the larger black community (see Tarana Burke in 2017 ). Other times, it’s more about a personal manifestation of unity (see theworkers of KFC in 2018 ). This year, it’s a bit of both.

But first, for those who are just starting...

3 Comments

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. Stephen A. Crockett Jr. Dec 26, 2019. 5 comments

Kwanzaa Is Dame Dash to Jay-Z’s Christmas

Kwanzaa Is Dame Dash to Jay-Z’s Christmas

There was a time back when Kwanzaa and Christmas were cruising on a yacht popping Cristal and truly Big Pimpin’.

Then there was a feud, something about Christmas cozying up with Lyor Cohen or Kwanzaa promoting Cam’ron to the president of Holiday Records, and Christmas bounced, went on to marry Beyoncé and partnered with the NFL. Kwanzaa went on kicking pro-black business and going at the...

5 Comments

Michael Harriot Michael Harriot Dec 25, 2019. 5 comments

Christmas Vs. Kwanzaa: The Tale of the Tape

Christmas Vs. Kwanzaa: The Tale of the Tape

I was raised in a fundamentalist church that believed in the seventh-day Sabbath, tambourines and neverending, four-nights-a-week services that lasted well into Arsenio Hall’s opening monologue. Apparently, God’s eternal kingdom specifically forbade rap music, brazen women who had premarital sex (if you were a man it wasn’t ok but it didn’t decrease your value) and Christmas cheer.

Even...

5 Comments

Dec 24, 2019. 1 comments

Kwanzaa 101 for the Uninitiated, Self-Conscious, or Confused

Kwanzaa 101 for the Uninitiated, Self-Conscious, or Confused

Y’all, Kwanzaa is LIT. Seriously. What other uniquely African-American holiday invites you to spend seven days talking about the realest shit?

People get so caught up in how it’s a made-up holiday, but come on—a holiday is a group decision. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a federal holiday is younger than Kwanzaa. I’m not saying it’s right, but thems the facts.

So how do you, a Kwanzaa...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Jan 02, 2019. 9 comments

Stacey Abrams Exemplifies the Kwanzaa Principle of Imani—Consciously Moving Forward Against Forces Seen and Unseen

Stacey Abrams Exemplifies the Kwanzaa Principle of Imani—Consciously Moving Forward Against Forces Seen and Unseen

The last day of Kwanzaa is represented by the principle of Imani, or faith—the essence of what has gotten us through when there seemed no way out. Black people, in general, are a spiritual people. But we are also a people of faith, which is not necessarily attached to formal religion. In the words of the King James version of the Bible:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the...

9 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Jan 01, 2019. 1 comments

Kuumba & Chill: Netflix’s Doyenne Jasmyn Lawson Is Out Here Doing It for the Culture

Kuumba & Chill: Netflix’s Doyenne Jasmyn Lawson Is Out Here Doing It for the Culture

As we continue on our Kwanzaa trek this year, today we celebrate Kuumba, or creativity, a place where—let’s be frank—black folks excel. From Black Twitter to music of practically every genre; from comedy to cooking; from politics to fashion, we are nothing if not creative.

Kuumba is defined as: “To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 31, 2018.

Kwanzaa Queens With That Nia Heat: BMMA Founders Manifest Purpose in Saving Black Mamas’ Lives

Kwanzaa Queens With That Nia Heat: BMMA Founders Manifest Purpose in Saving Black Mamas’ Lives

As we continue to celebrate the African American cultural holiday of Kwanzaa, today brings us to Nia, or “Purpose,” defined as: “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”

And two black women (it’s always black women isn’t it? ), in their quest to not only restore us to our traditional greatness...

Michael Harriot Michael Harriot Dec 30, 2018. 12 comments

Dispatches From The Kwanzaa Kid: How the Grinch Stole Ujamaa

Dispatches From The Kwanzaa Kid: How the Grinch Stole Ujamaa

Here’s a lie you often hear:

“I grew up in the hood. And because I was smart, all the cool kids and the gangstas bullied me and beat me up.”

If you talk to anyone who ever knew me, none of them would describe me as cool. Even though I was the least intimidating person you would meet, I didn’t encounter much trouble because I didn’t live in “the hood.”

No one lives in “the hood” or the...

12 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 30, 2018. 1 comments

Kwanzaa Shout: Richelieu Dennis, the ‘Essence’ of Cooperative Economics

Kwanzaa Shout: Richelieu Dennis, the ‘Essence’ of Cooperative Economics

Today—Dec. 29—the Kwanzaa principle celebrated is Ujamaa, or “cooperative economics,” and there was very little debate as to who personified the “essence” of this concept, simply defined as such: To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Richelieu Dennis, founder of the and CEO of Sun­dial Brands, which includes Shea Moisture and Nubian...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 29, 2018. 1 comments

The Women of GirlTrek, in Their Literal Movement for Black Women, Radiate Collective Work and Responsibility

The Women of GirlTrek, in Their Literal Movement for Black Women, Radiate Collective Work and Responsibility

The Kwanzaa principle for today, Dec. 28, is Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility. Ujima means building and maintaining our community together and making our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems while solving them together.

Vanessa Garrison and Morgan Dixon, the founders of GirlTrek, embody the principles of collective work and responsibility. Their eight-year-old outfit organizes...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 28, 2018. 1 comments

Habari Gani?! Kujichagulia! Marshawn ‘Spark the Blunt’ Lynch Goes Beast Mode for Self-Determination

Habari Gani?! Kujichagulia! Marshawn ‘Spark the Blunt’ Lynch Goes Beast Mode for Self-Determination

For each day of Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural holiday that eschews the typical commercialism of the holiday season, we will be highlighting a person or persons from the past year who exemplifies the principle of the day. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 to uplift a sense of community through the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative...

1 Comments

Angela Helm Angela Helm Dec 26, 2018. 7 comments

About That Kwanzaa Life: The Ladies of KFC Were the Embodiment of Umoja in 2018

About That Kwanzaa Life: The Ladies of KFC Were the Embodiment of Umoja in 2018

As with last year, The Root is celebrating the blackest holiday of them all!

For each day of Kwanzaa, we will be highlighting a person(s) from the past year who exemplifies the principle of the day. Kwanzaa remains an African-American cultural holiday that eschews the typical commercialism of the holiday season, and uplifts a sense of community through the principles of unity,...

7 Comments

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Dec 05, 2018.

12 Days of Gifting, Day 2: Home(bodies) for the Holidays

12 Days of Gifting, Day 2: Home(bodies) for the Holidays

It’s Day Two of The Glow Up’s 12 Days of Gifting—and, as promised, we’re back with more ideas for you!

I don’t know about you, but my ideal winter vacation is actually a staycation. While the weather outside is frightful (I live in Chicago, so that’s a very real possibility this time of year), I can’t think of anything better than being cozy.

No, seriously. “Cozy” is my favorite word.

Most of my...

Maiysha Kai Maiysha Kai Dec 04, 2018.

Holidazed? Welcome to Our 12 Days of Gifting—Launched with Luxury

Holidazed? Welcome to Our 12 Days of Gifting—Launched with Luxury

Okay, Glow Up gang: It’s officially December, and if you haven’t already, you need to start shopping for the holidays. Sure, we know not everyone celebrates, but for those who do, we also know not everyone is easy to shop for. For instance, what do you get the person who seemingly already has everything, without just copping out on a generic Target gift card? (No shade to Target; we love...

Language