Kwanzaa 2011: Nia/Purpose Day- December 30th
Purpose/Nia: Fulfilling our duty and obligation to contribute to the high and morally serious purpose of nation-building, i.e. , the quest to recover and restore our people to their traditional greatness
Charles Hamilton, the intellectual giant who built from scratch the intellectual and framework and the legal strategy and infrastructure and which led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court, and Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. are two compelling narratives of Nia:
Howard University was the nation’s premier school for black attorneys. Yet, when Mordecai Johnson, first black president of Howard University, appointed Charles Hamilton Dean of Howard’s Law School, it lacked accreditation and was called by the wealthiest black residents of Washington D.C “a dummy’s retreat.” Howard’s accreditation only marked beginning of the work ahead. Armed with the schools hard-earned credentials, he directed the law school to redouble its efforts to graduate lawyers fit to effects social gains. Houston did not demand from his students and faculty all that they could give; he exacted
Dunbar High School, located in Washington D.C. represents one of the most inspiring and compelling models of African American educational excellence- Dunbar was once the pride of the race, out performing in city-wide examination students attending the high school for whites. Within the walls of Dunbar from 1870 to 1954 (eighty-four years) there was teaching of only black children by only black teachers. There was a respect for learning and an expectation of superiority based on knowledge and pride emanating from teachers and instilled into students that made Dunbar a special educational environment.
Nia Day Checklist
ü Ingathering activity, around a meal or designated time
ü Read African/American proverbs, folktales, poems, or recite family story related to nation building (optional)
ü Highlight the Kwanzaa Symbol Corn/Muhindi
ü Reflect on the Cooperative Economics commitment for the current and coming year
ü Family Feast
ü Pour Libation (optional)
ü Candle lighting
ü Make Nia commitment
ü Take picture/record your commitments or Kwanzaa activities (optional)
ü Using the Swahili greeting to greet each other. Harbari Gani (What’s the News) Response: Nia
ü Plan and/or do a collective work and responsibility activity.
Candle Lighting Activity
Candle Lighting: On the second day of Kwanzaa the family lights the green 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 green candle is symbolic of effort, discipline and work. The lesson here is straightforward: competence, excellence, and greatness are achieved through children and youth who put forth the right effort (work and study) will achieve success in their grades and school performance. The same applies to adults.
Kwanzaa Journal Entry
What was my 2011 Kwanzaa Commitment: Completed, Partially Completed, Still in Progress
What are my 2012 Kwanzaa commitments?
By what means or method will I employ to achieve my commitments?
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