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INTERLOCKING PRINCIPLES:
KWANZAA & BUY BLACK CAMPAIGN

     As Kwanzaa rapidly approaches, it is imperative that we understand that the Nguzo Saba (Kiswahili for Seven Principles of Blackness) must become an integral part of our daily existence and not just limited to a hasty observance during the final holiday season of the year.

     One of the most immediate ways to implement these principles is to incorporate them into the Buy Black Campaign.  By connecting each principle to the community quest for economic control, the Nguzo Saba is directed into a functional dimension of tactical validity, therapeutic vitality, and trenchant visibility.

     It should, moreover, be noted that there is a historical connection between the Buy Black Campaign and the celebration of Kwanzaa.  The founder of the Afrikan Nationalist Pioneer Movement, Carlos A. Cooks, who launched the campaign in 1941 also developed name steps to Nationhood that predate Maulana Ron Karenga’s Seven Principles of Blackness and show a striking similarity to them.  Specifically, the nine steps to nationhood developed by Cooks are Solvent Economy, Self-Reliance, Racial Clannishness, Mass Cooperation, Common Cause Psychosis, Racial Standards, Distinctive and Exclusive Set of Values, Racial Cultural Patterns, Nationhood.  The more familiar Seven Principles of Blackness are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

     It should further be noted that Karenga’s selection of Kiswahili for the principles of Kwanzaa echoes the language of choice that was taught during the Cooks Administration in the mid-fifties under the legendary Professor Rayfus Williams.

     Although the Nguzo Saba presently has the popular vote, it is because of the above mentioned similarities and connections that there exists a natural affinity between the Buy Black Campaign and the celebration of Kwanzaa.

1.   UMOJA (Unity): Without unity there can be no community.  And a united community is a strategic step towards community control.  We can elect to be divided in poverty or united in prosperity.  Buying Black is the Key.

2.   KUJICHAGULIA (Self-Determination): We must be determined to feed, clothe, shelter, and protect ourselves by feeding, clothing, sheltering, and protecting each other.  Those who exploit us in the community today are planning to exclude us from the community tomorrow.  Dependency is facilitating our demise; determination will free us.  Buying Black is the Key.

3.   UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility): We can provide the full scope of goods and services for the community through consolidated effort and racial commitment.  Collectively, we have the skills, talent, and expertise to succeed in any endeavor we undertake.  Furthermore, survival and success as an individual can only be fully realized through the survival and success of the race.  Anything else is illusory.  Those who subscribe to the self-preservation as the first law theory must acknowledge that the “self” is the collective self as in self-determination and self-reliance.  Ultimately, a responsible community is a self-sufficient community; a responsible race is an independent race.  Buying Black is the Key.

4.   UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics): Through cooperative economics, we can accomplish anything from buying a network to building a nation.  Not only must we apply ujamaa to the music we record, the paintings we market, the films we produce, and the books we publish, but also to the buildings we live in, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the security we need.  In addition, with the three hundred billion dollars a year spending power of Afrikans in Amerikkka combined with the unlimited natural resources and raw materials of Afrikans in Afrika, we could write our own ticket to the twenty-first century – first class.  Buying Black is the Key.

5.   NIA (Purpose): What better purpose is there for the parent than to prepare a means of survival and security for the child?  What better purpose is there for one generation than to provide the means of production and prosperity for the next generation?  You can either waste your life working for and supporting your enemy or spend your life working for and supporting your people.  Remember, the livelihood you save will be your own.  Buying Black is the Key.

6.   KUUMBA (Creativity): In building the business life of the community, we must not allow ourselves to be limited to barbershops and beauty parlors but must tap the same creative energy for business diversity that we tap for music and dance.  We muse activate our creative impulse in determining and developing the variety of goods, the means of production, the manner of distribution, the methods of merchandising, the kinds of services and the techniques of marketing.  Buying Black is the Key.

7.   IMANI (Faith): Faith is the spiritual manifestation of positive thinking; positive thinking is a mental pre-requisite to positive action; positive action is a physical requirement for a rewarding life.  Whereas some of us are programmed for victory, others require faith.  The success of The Buy Black Campaign is inevitable.  To believe in the possibility is positive thinking; to participate in the process is an act of faith.  Buying Black is the Key.

Author:  GEORGE EDWARD TAIT

Publication Name: NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS

Publication Date: 12-10-88

 

 
 
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