The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, Celebrating Faith

Happy New YearsHappy New Years! We freakin’ made it. It had me thinking… 2020 is only 3 years away. I know. I know… we just started this year, and I’ve already set my eyes 3 years out. I guess it’s because I never really entertained 2020 as a possible future. I’ve been looking forward to saying, it and now it’s close enough to touch. Well… that’s then and here is now.

It’s been a while since I’ve celebrated New Years with my mother. The traditional meals were black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread. Yum. My husband and I were planning steak. Now I’m having second thoughts. I’m really feeling the desire to have some soul food.

The Seventh Day (Imani)

With New Years Day, we hit the last day of the Kwanzaa celebrations. It’s time to light the final candle… the lonely last green candle that represents the future and hope of the African people. The last candle stands for Faith.

The Official Kwanzaa website says Faith means:

To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

The greeting of the day is “Habari gani?” The response is, Imani, meaning Faith.

Significance to Me

FaithThe word Faith is so powerful. To me, it’s more than simple hope. It’s a belief. It means it’s something that’s already happened. It’s a done deal. We’re just waiting for the future when it’s true. This year had me taken aback a little, mostly due to the results of the election. But that’s okay. I have faith that we’ll get back on track.

When my oldest daughter was in high school, her high school allowed students to enroll in college courses. What was great about it, they brought the faculty from the local community college right into the high schools to teach them. Very convenient. I happened to teach the college level psychology courses there. It was a wonderful experience.

Since psychology is the study of the mind, we focused a lot on human behavior. We often explored human behavior amongst their peers. I was fascinated by high schoolers mindsets. Whereas I was raised by a mother who taught me life isn’t fair and that I’d have to work extra hard as a Black Woman, these kids seemed to be untainted (for the most part) that life didn’t give everyone an equal chance.

Their attitudes really gave me a lot of hope. I thought we just had to wait for my generation to die off and the new generation would teach their children well. It’s been nearly a decade, and those kids are taking leadership roles.

With the results of the election, I see progress is a bit slower than I’d anticipated. I hope my daughter’s generation isn’t picking up the torches of hatred and elitism that should have been extinguished long ago. That’s the difference between hope and faith. I have hope in the generations on the planet now. I have faith in the future generations to come to their senses.

I have faith that equality will make it to America. I’m not looking for Africans to rise above everyone else. I simply want us to live as equals and with respect for one another. It may not happen in my lifetime. I’m okay with that, because I have faith in the future. What I can do is help move us in the direction of equality by my actions, while I’m on earth.

What is your part in helping the African American community rise to equality?

For previous posts, visit the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa.