Thursday, December 29, 2005
Ujamaa!The next principle of Kwanzaa is Ujamaa -- Cooperative Economics. How might we more frequently transact with each other cooperatively? In ways that brings mutual benefit to our respective families and to greater African American community?
The African diaspora is varied and spread throughout many parts of the world. Yet, in our histories, we share the consequences of capitalism stripped of its moral dimensions. Enslaved, our ancestors were the products in economic transaction, and nations profited and became great powers on their suffereing.
Those who came before us were later excluded from economic transactions. They were free to transact as human beings, but they were always under threat of having their transactions overruled by domestic terrorism. And by a supremacy of "white" that ruled the creation and enforcement of law.
Through our shared history, we have endured by practicing economics for moral and community ends. In America, we have ancestors who purchased their families out of slavery, when they could. Later we created our own businesses, when we were socially and legally segretated out of the mainstream. Today we can express our talents more freely, and we profit from products and services that suit our own needs and tastes. We are so good that others can't help but to sample (and imitate) our style.
But the dream isn't finished yet. Many of us are still left out and left behind.
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics.
Dream about it as you make economic decisions. Demonstrate it. Perfect it. For your family and for those in wider African diaspora. It's a path to our greater wealth, security, and prosperity.