Today is Day 4 of Kwanzaa. The principal is ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Ujamaa and is essentially a commitment to the practice of shared social wealth and the work necessary to achieve it. It grows out of the fundamental communal concept that social wealth belongs to the masses of people who created it and that no one should have such an unequal amount of wealth that it gives him/her the capacity to impose unequal, exploitative or oppressive relations on others.
I like this principle. It does not intend to limit your financial wealth, but reminds us not to use or wealth to hurt or oppress each other. However, we should use our wealth unequal or not to invest in our communities and help all of us reach economic success and prosperity. Ujamaa is about us extending the skills and qualities we have gained occupationally and economically to each other so we can all become greater and better. It is about centralizing our money towards goals that will make our lives, and future richer with success and development.
However, we often have a problem with this. We do not want to buy from Black Owned Businesses. We do not want to invest in them. We do not want to work in them. We do not want to go to a historically black college. We do not want to donate to them. We do not want to be associated with anything that will uplift black corporations, organizations, and companies. . Some of us not all think that doing any of those things would damage, hurt us, or is wrong.
Because of the brainwashing that has been committed upon many of us. Many of us think it is wrong to be associated with such things. There are still a lot of us who need to realize that the whole condition and status of the African/black race affects every one of us even, if we are not specifically plagued with the negative issues and conditions that other blacks deal with.
If most of our people are not successful economically, yes it may not cause us to have financial strife now. Yes, it may not change the tides in or life, but it is a ripple that will affect all of us one day.
I say this to mean that if YOU, are in any position to help out another brotha or sistah land a job, build a business or make a positive step towards a better tomorrow, do it. It does not take anything from you. It simply strengthens the community foundation and cements a stronger tomorrow for all of us.
Use ujamaa in your life today. We are all just roots, who have extended our greatness through the rough soil and soaked in the water of wisdom and talent. Once we connect our roots. Once we come together and work together economically, we will form the whole tree. We will construct a formidable force of excellence. Lets come together and create a forest, together. -M. Millie
“History is a People’s Memory… and without memory a man is demoted to the lower animals.” -Malcolm X.
I love this quote. To me, he was discussing the chaos that can come to a person or people, when they forget their history, culture and background. This quote exudes that once you forget the struggles that were fought and the people who died for your freedom to be had and success to be made, you have become demoted. You have become lesser than.
I truly believe that many black people with fame, high positions and money have forgotten about the battle that was fought for them. I believe many have forgotten about the lives that were lost for them. Why?
Well. it is because the youth now do not know. Many of them do not care to know. The educational system does not discuss issues or highlights the triumphs or struggles of African Americans. If anything the current educational system plays on the insecurities of the youth and instills a dotish subservient attitude in black youth.
Many parents do not know the stories of the past and are not passing it down to their children. So, now there is a never-ending cycle of uneducated, black children being born who do not fully understand where they come from.
Then there are the people who are aware of their history, but simply do not care. They do not care about their ancestors and believe the history is the past and live in the present. SMH! They do not realize that the past enables you to understand your present, and that the present is a map towards the future. They are all interlinked.
I am tired of the sagging pants, the twerking, the ratchetness, the deplorable degradation of black youth and adults who have forgotten their history. I am tired of seeing elders be spit in the face by youth who disrespect their legacy and great contribution to the world. We need a change. We need a big one, for this buffoonery and minstrel show of foolishness does nothing for our people, but hold us down.
It never ceases to amaze me how the crimes, violence, buffoonery and stereotypical acts committed by African Americans get broadcasted and disseminated rapidly. However, the great acts of bravery, triumph, heroics, and success shown by African Americans hardly gets into the news and is often unknown. Why? Because Media is controlled by those who only want to portray a negative image of us.
Antoinette Tuff is a bookkeeper at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur,Georgia. Her fast thinking and bravery prevented a school shooting from happening. Without her quick and courageous actions another Sandy Hook incident could have occurred, and many children’s lives could have been lost.
On Tuesday, Michael Brandon Hill, 20, slipped into the school behind someone who was buzzed in. He entered, Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, an elementary school from pre- kindergarten to fifth grade armed with an AK- 47 and other weapons.
Michael Brandon Hill, school shooter.
Hill then went into the administration office and demanded to get near the children. Tuff refused to allow him near the kids. Hill then told Tuff that he was planning to die and wanted to get the news there. Tuff convinced him to stop his mission of death and give up his weapon by talking to him.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer Tuff recalls that “He had a look on him that he was willing to kill.” “He said that he didn’t have any reason to live and that he knew he was going to die today.” “I knew that if he got out that door he was gonna kill everybody.”
Tuff calmed Hill down by telling him about the problems in her life. She is heard on 911 tapes telling Hill “Don’t feel bad, baby.” “My husband just left me after 33 years…I’ve got a son that’s multiple disabled.” “It’s all going to be well.”
She then relayed to the 911 operator she was talking to for over 20 minutes, that “He said he don’t care if he dies, he don’t have nothing to live for. He said he’s not mentally stable.”
Tuff talked to and calmed Hill down, while informing the 911 operator of his actions. Talking to Hill enabled police to safely evacuate students and teachers from the building. Outside students and teachers boarded school buses that took them to a nearby Wal-Mart, where they could meet their families.
Children boarding the buses to Wal-Mart.
Tuff’s calming of Hill’s rage continued as she asked him to put his weapon and backpack on the ground. He complied after a short shoot out with the police, where there were no casualties.
This can be attributed to the quick and fearless thinking of Antoinette Tuff. Authorities later revealed that Hill was carrying 500 rounds of ammunition. He could have killed many innocent lives, if it was not for Hill and her bravery.
Hill with a gun.
This story has not been widely spread. Sure there are a few articles written about it. However, it will NEVER, get the mass dissemination throughout the country the way negative news about African Americans does.
There are a few reasons why this is so. Besides the negative portrayal of African Americans in media, there is also the people in the situation. You have a black woman who rescued black children from a white perpetrator. Lets examine this.
Black women are one of the most, if not the most discriminated against oppressed people. Our lives are plagued with a double dose of racism and sexism. Our weakness, and ability to be used is perpetuated in media, television, movies and our daily encounters. where we have to let people know…. “I AM NOT that F*C*ING stereotype. Yes, black women we have all been through it.
Black children are not cared about in America. We live in a country where we make up less than half of the population., but over 50% of our children go missing without follow up. Our children are killed without any reports, or police work done to find them. It is just believed and accepted that black children go missing and it is okay. SMDH! Now, you know I do not believe in statistics, but having a few friends who work in the police department and doing research of my own, I know that most black children missing are not found.
Jordan Davis(R) and Trayvon Martin(L). Both teens were unarmed, but killed anyway.
Our children are killed and it is deemed okay and acceptable in the legal system. The lives of black children mean nothing to America. Unless… Unless black children are being saved by some amazing good ole white person who has welcomed the world of intellect and prosperity into the lives of less fortunate urban children. America always loves a good charity story where whites are the ones giving back, taking a pay cut, adopting and traveling to 3rd world countries. You know the speal of white charity, and the “oh I help minorities I do not uphold white supremacy”, stuff. Its kind of similar to the “I have black friends, I am not racist,” statement. You see, a part of white supremacy is receiving gratifaction that the lives of people you deem inferior can only have elevation in their lives, if you are in it and help them. As well the fact that minorities can only succeed so far, without their help.
Angelina Jolie and her adopted African daughter Zahara.
Then, there’s the fact that the shooter was a white man. This is an image that is often attributed to school shooters. However, his gender and race guarantees him the usual cop outs. He “had a troubled life.” “He suffers from mental disorders” “He has had a lot of emotional difficulty.” “He had a horrible childhood.” These scenarios are experienced by numerous black men and women, however we can never use these phrases as copouts. We are termed as violent, gangsters, whores, victimizers, etc.
Believe it family. The language and actions change depending on the gender and race of the characters involved. I say this all to express that our depiction is controlled by those who want us to look and be categorized as stereotypical, violent driven buffoons, who are in need of help and guidance by white people. That is how it always is. How many movies, ads, shows, celebrities push this agenda. Thats it. It is an agenda. Open your eyes and see it.
The movie “The Help,” where a nice white person who cares about black people helps them out and elevates their troubles. SMH!
I applaud Antoinette Tuff and her actions of bravery. She is a resounding message that we black people, specifically black women are not the depiction of negativity that surround us. We are courageous, powerful and capable. We can accomplish and do great things without charity. Sister Tuff, I am giving your time to shine with this article. I am implanting your name and image in the minds of my readers and others, for we should all know about amazing women like you who everyday change the lives of others, and do great things.
You know thats right, black women.
Family, we are all like Antoinette Tuff. We do not have to fulfill the negative portrayal that is spread of us. We fulfill our destines, and demonstrate who we are. Do not let the perpetuation be you, be the one who disproves the lies at every turn. -M. Millie