Starting on December 26, a lot of black Americans are now contemplating the message of Kwanzaa, the pan-Africanist holiday created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. The observance is a 7 day commemoration of principles designed to celebrate black culture and acknowledge folkways that would enhance the beauty contained therein. The first day remains one of the most poignant observance: Umoja – Unity. This is our examination today….
Unity is one of the most important traits that we can have as Africans in America. I think that the lack thereof remains one of the premier cultural obstacles. But as we study real African society ‘isms, we would find hat unity is an essential trait among the people. In southern Africa we find the term UBUNTU, which means “I am because you are.” This is best uillustrated by a story of a missionary and his students.
A missionary teacher in a school takes a melon and chops it up. He places the pieces of melon on a fallen tree, gathers his students, tells them to line up and prepare to race. The first one to get to the fallen tree will get the entire melon to eat. “On your mark, get set go!”…. Before taking off, the students grab hands. Hands inked, they run together to the fallen tree and the sweet fruit that awaits them. They divide the slices of melon amongst themselves.. Wholly amazed, the missionary asks why did they do that? Why didn’t they run as fast as they could? The eldest of the students quickly answered, “we could not win and be happy and no one else is happy…. If one is hungry, then we are all hungry… if one eats, then all eat!… ”
This my people is Ubuntu….. Unity.