How does this culturally historic 2011 Obama year stack up against the second principle of Kwanzaa? Is there evidence that he lives the principle or not. He promised a lot as a candidate, but what has he delivered in the three years of his Presidency and how dose that impact the community.
Call: Habari Gani
I gave the call to one of my friends and he missed the answer, said he did not have a chance to look it up, lol. Do you know the response? Put it in your comment.
The Second Principle of Kwanzaa
Kujichagulia (Self Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
It should be noted that a basic knowledge of Kwanzaa by a continental African, or a Diaspora African is an improvement in Cultural Literacy and an act of self definition, naturally with the practice of Kwanzaa this becomes even more true. The very act of reconstructing and restoring the traditional values, interests and principle of the African first fruits celebrations in the minds of Black people is a self defining act of Cultural Health on the part of Karenga and his people.
Cultural Literacy Minute: Reducing Cultural Poisoning and Raising Cultural Literacy = Cultural Health. CH = (-CP +CL)
As we compare Obama's first years as President to each of the 7 Kwanzaa principles, how does he compare on self-determination? When asked about his cultural self definition he responds clearly, I am an African American . He acknowledges the fact that he is multi-ethnic that is, he has an African Father and a European American mother. What is important from a Cultural Health point of view is that as a person who produces substantial amounts of melanin, he understands himself to be a Black person connected to the 2 billion plus other Black people on this planet.
Now let us look at two corner stones of this principle. Creating for ourselves and speaking for our selves. The President was certainly creative in beating some pretty smart candidates like the Clinton's to get nominated and then elected. His election was a demonstration of the African American community speaking for itself at the 95%+ level. We hired him to deliver health care Reform (HCR), End the Bush Wars and to create jobs taking America green to the future. He and the Dems Passed HCR, ACA is now the law of the land and he ended the Bush Iraq war and got our troops home for the Holidays (holidays) and he trumped trump and Binladen on the same day, while keeping 159 other promises he made to America. So in 2011, the President's approval rating among African Americans remains above the 90% level. He has done well for the nation and us and we in the AA community continue to speak well of him.
Now let us look at a culturally critical corner stone for all Africans abroad, Naming ourselves. Here is where the tires meet the cultural road; Barack Obama was renamed Barry during his early life. So Obama was Barry Obama for a time. As a young person he looked for himself and his cultural orientation, this is generally more difficult for multi-ethnic Americans, then it is for say a Chinese person in mono-ethnic China, or even a Chinese American living here. As his Cultural Literacy improved he restored his African name Barack and settled into the fact that this choice would not make it easier for him in America.
What is your name? Do you have and African name, should you? Another way to name yourself is to put your stamp or name on something.
IMHO, The president's masterful passing of HCR and his masterful new end of the year stand your ground for tax cuts and the middle class, against Republican lets shut down the government extremists, says a lot about his self-determination. What he said was "I am persistent". He moved the making the world safer legislation (START), a bipartisan second major economic stimulus bill for the nation, catching the bad guy, saving the American Auto industry and last but not least, passage of a bill that will lead to more civil treatment of homosexuals in the military. These accomplishments put his stamp/name on his Presidency like 911 stamped Bushes Presidency.
The differences is, he controlled his stamp out of focusing on his/our goals, it did not just happen to him. In this world there are people who make things happen, people that things happen to and people who wonder what happened. Which, are you, which should this Kwanzaa principle drive you to be?
Look at the pictures in this article. I remember a time when you could not get people to say or use African names in America. One of the reasons Kwanzaa has taken time to cut through the Cultural Poisoning in the AA Community is the difficulty of pronouncing what are foreign sounding words to many Black People in the diaspora as a result of Cultural Terrorism. I remember having trouble getting people to call me Aunk, and I still have trouble with some, especially in my family. So it is remarkable to note that after three years, I do not think there is anyone left in America who does not know at least two African words, Barack Obama, Amen! I have seen Obama's name or image in some of the most unexpected places, this marks a dramatic positive change in Cultural Literacy here at home and abroad. (Take a look at the Ngram linked to his name).
Did you notice where I slipped in a third African word in the paragraph above, no it is not Aunk.
Just the passage of Health Care Reform, if he did nothing else, is the most important step toward human well being taken for Americans in general and African Americans in particular in my lifetime. This accomplishment alone will cause his name to live in America for the Nation's lifetime and beyond.
If you were looking for a long list of accomplishments Click Here I just tried to hit the most culturally relevant accomplishments for this second day of Kwanzaa.
I conclude Barack Obama, in this African year 12,011 AST (African Standard Time) (C.E. 2011) is living Kujichagulia and a good example to his fellow AA's, the nation and the world. What are your conclusions?