Kuumba/Creativity- Day Six of Kwanzaa

December 30, 2010

A Celebration of Family, Community and the Common Good

Creativity/Kuumba

To aspire daily toward continuously improvement, focusing on personal achievement, family development and neighborhood well-being and advancement

Perspective on Creativity

The Kwanzaa principle “Creativity” demands of us that we strive for continuous improvement. This principle pushes us to achieve at our highest potential. At the family level, each member strives to improve home life (e.g., chores, relationships). At the neighbor level, the push is to improve the quality of relationship and the quality of life.

Focus: What Creativity Day is about?

Creativity Day focuses on activities which reinforce the Kwanzaa principle of doing as much as we can in the way we can to leave our families, neighborhoods, and people better off as a result of our life’s work. Some activities may include, but are not mandatory:

  • Make the celebration focus on your family
  • Make the celebration festive and joyous
  • Try to have a special meal- at home or away

Creativity Day Activities:

  • Family improvement project
  • Neighborhood improvement project
  • School improvement project

Creativity Expressed in your family or in Black History

Black Scientific Inventors

Despite a history of being shut out of professional occupations and confined to working in industries deemed acceptable for them, such as domestic services, some manual trades, and agriculture there was no total loss of black ingenuity and technological innovation.  African Americans made and continue to make significant contributions to science and humanity.

To be sure, few Americans are aware of the major contributions of African Americans to modern technology.  In 1913 alone, Van Sertima asserts, “as many as on thousand inventions were patented by African Americans, and those were the fortunate few who got as far as the patent office. In the 19th century, several African Americans invented labor-saving devices but were not allowed to patent them in their own names.” From the Colonial Period until the present, African Americans have put their mark on science. Read More: http://kwanzaaguide.com/2010/02/african-in-science-and-technology/

Motown Miracle

Motown is both a style of music and a label and is now a metaphor for success and excellence. Motown set the standard for popular music, and developed a sound which others musicians and record companies sought to emulate. No other label is more identified with the sound it produced which gives credence to its slogan, “The Sound of Young America.

Motown is the brainchild of Berry Gordy Jr. From the beginning, Gordy envisioned a record company which would be distinguished by its sound and the quality of the music it produced. Indeed, as history shows, Gordy established not just a record company, but an institution of American musical know-how and a new paradigm for producing records. As Quincy Jones writes, “the music of Motown Records is a challenge and an inspiration to anyone making pop records. The talented people that flowed through Motown, both the performers on stage and the writers and producers behind the scene, broke down the barriers between black and white, between the R&B world and the “mainstream,” letting everyone see the beauty of black music.” Read More: http://kwanzaaguide.com/2010/06/organizing-genius-berry-gordy-and-the-motown-story/

Candle Lighting Activity

Candle Lighting: On the sixth day of Kwanzaa the family lights the red candle. This candle is symbolic of the effort. The placement and order of the Kwanzaa candles teach and reinforce valuable lessons for the family. The red candle is symbolic of the effort a person, family, school or community makes. The lesson is that we light the red candle to reinforce the value of work and effort.

The candle lighting activity presents one of the best moments for family members to assess their practice around “creativity” and make a specific commitment to practice “creativity” during the next year.

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