ERIC Number: ED266067
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-13
Reference Count: 0
The Fundamentals of an African American Value System.
Alexander, E. Curtis
The Nguzo Saba or "Seven Principles of Blackness" provide the fundamental basis for the development of an African America value system that is based on the cultural and historical particularisms of being Black in an American society that devalues Black efficacy and Black people. The fundamentals of this value system, foundational to the Kwanzaa life experience holiday celebration, are outlined as: (1) Umoja (unity), which is a commitment to the principle and practice of togetherness and collective action on critical levels (i.e., the family, community, nations, and races); (2) Kujichagulia (self-determination), which is a commitment to the principle and practice of defining, defending, and developing oneself instead of being defined, defended, and developed by others; (3) Ujima (collective work and responsibility), which is a commitment to active and informed togetherness in matters of common interest; (4) Ujamaa (cooperative economics), which is a commitment to the principles and practices of shared wealth and resources; (5) Nia (purpose), which is a commitment to the collective vocation of building, defending, and developing the national community in order to regain historical initiative and greatness as a people; (6) Kuumba (creativity), essentially a commitment to the principle and practice of positive proactive construction involving both aesthetic and material production and creativity, and commitment to African identity, both individually and collectively. Four reasons for placing emphasis on the African roots of the Kwanzaa life experience holiday situation, and a description of the Kwanzaa ritual conclude the paper. (LH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Humanities Conference (Newport News, VA, April 13, 1985).