It’s the last day of Kwanzaa, a weeklong response to the commercialism of Christmas; a celebration of African heritage, culture, community and spirituality. Growing up, I have vague memories of my mom wanting us to try our hand at celebrating Kwanzaa, but for whatever the reason we never followed through.
This year, for the first time via my morning meetings with Global Leadership Village and Rev.Aina-Nia Ayo’dele I was able to partake in virtual Kwanzaa celebration. Despite this being my first however, I’m no stranger to the Kwanzaa principles of the Nguzo Saba.
- Umoja (Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
- Nia (Purpose)
- Kuumba (Creativity)
- Imani (Faith)
are commonplace in my classroom and teaching practice.
Well, they have been until this school year. In the midst of all the changes due to Covid-19, we no longer form our daily Nia circles, we no longer gather around and share using our talking drum. The drum that has played a central role in my classroom for years now sits in my home instead of at our classroom meeting place. It’s all very sad, and it’s particularly sad this year because, for the first time, I teach a majority of Black, African diasporic students.
These principles that have been so prevalent in years past, are almost non-existent this year due to how differently school and our classroom now function. This is a realization I didn’t make until very recently and now vow to change for the remainder of our time together.
We can no longer gather and drum the way we would have in the past, but on this last day of Kwanzaa that recognizes Imani (faith), I have faith that I will ensure my students are not denied these foundational principles of being (specifically as Black learners but as members of humanity as well), independently and together as a community.
P.S. I’m pretty sure this will be my last “Daily Musings” post…I think it’s safe to say I’ve formed a habit and I have faith I will continue to write (and post) regularly. For 105 days, this has been a most fruitful experience and I thank all the readers, for their views, likes, comments and follows. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey as we close 2020 and move forward into 2021. Counting my blessings, I hope you are too. Ase