Written by: Sophia V. Nelson
From December 26, 2019 – January 1, 2020 VisitBlackHistory.com original images and video collected over the past two years, I recognized the seven principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba) on our instagram page.
Umoja = Unity ”To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Black fraternal organizations were formed in the 19th century, to provide mutual aid to African American families. Pictured are artifacts displayed at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Mosaic Templars of America was founded in 1883. The organization grew to include ”a building and loan association, a publishing company, a business college, a nursing school, and a hospital.”
Mosaic Templars was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas but grew to be an international organization, with chapters throughout the U.S. and Barbados.
Kujichagulia = Self-determination = To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
I find answers to life’s pressing questions in history books, documentaries, and museums. I view them as case studies. Through the lens of biographical works on self-determined greats like Zora Neale Hurston, Sammy Davis Jr, and Shirley Chisholm, I was able to see that the pursuit of one’s life purpose is not easy. But it is worth it.
Pictured is ”The King of Blues” B.B. King. King got his first guitar when he was 12 years old which led to him becoming a self taught guitarist. He performed at area churches and various radio stations in Greenwood, Mississippi – Memphis, Tennessee – and West Memphis, Arkansas. He grew a dedicated audience from there. It is reported that King played 342 shows in 1956.
Ujima = collective work and responsibility.
A girl from North Carolina would make her way up 95-north headed back to DC’s Howard University. She would pass through a city that she would later make her home. That city is Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Janine Bell has since committed to a life of work intended to help broaden the public’s understanding of Richmond, VA’s African and African American history.
Saturday December 28 Elegba Folklore Society hosted its annual Capital City Kwanzaa Festival at Richmond, VA’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School 1 – 8 PM. According to EFS Inc website, they have hosted the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival since 1990. Check @efsinc Instagram page for additional information.
Ms. Janine Bell gave VisitBlackHistory.com an interview in September of this year. In this clip, Ms. Bell shares a story about Capital City Kwanzaa Festival’s cultural impact. (clip from interview titled, ”Elegba Folklore Society: A Legacy of Community Building” by Ali’a B. Edwards)
Ujamaa = Cooperative economics – Working to build shops and businesses.