in Advocacy

BBE Rewind: A Fertile Kwanzaa?


Originally Published 12.27.2010 8:13 pm


Happy Kwanzaa! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!  I had a restful one, for a change, with much less stress from running around as it usually entails.  As for this week, I’m going to try and and fill it with as much activity and peace as I possibly can.  To help me with that, I am going to be celebrating Kwanzaa with a twist this year.

For those unfamiliar with the African-American focused celebration, Kwanzaa focuses on seven main principles called the Nguzo Saba.

These are they:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

While my family and I do usually try and acknowledge Kwanzaa, we are most certainly not devout.  Every year, I usually post the traditional daily Kwanzaa greeting, “Habari Ghani” (What’s the News?) , and most who are celebrating will respond with the principle of the day.  It is sometimes the one status on my Facebook page that has the least responses, LOL.

So I was thinking about the holiday itself, and I started to think about how some people may just not understand it.  That thinking led me to wonder how I could care more about it myself this year.  THAT thought process led me to the idea of relating the Nguzo Saba to The Egg.   As I sat and went over it I realized that every principle in Kwanzaa can be applied effortlessly to every single thought about fertility, regardless of race.  So won’t you join me in this little project?

You will?! I knew you would!

Harambee! (Let’s All Pull Together)

Note: Today’s post will cover TWO principles because we’re a day late.


UMOJA! – This Kwanzaa, my Dude and I spent the day in our pj’s.  We got up with the intentions of going out on the town…well to the movies at least, but in the end we decided to grab a pizza and laugh.  A PERFECT day for Umoja, I believe.  We enjoyed each other in spite of having children to give gifts to, or any additions to our small family.  The times that we spend just us, are a huge part of our building towards the larger family we wish to have.  If our personal relationship is not strengthened by unity, our parenthood will most definitely suffer, and I am NOT having that.   I encourage you, even a day after the first day of Kwanzaa, to find ways to increase the unity in your home, your family and your relationships.  Your future children deserve that.


Kujichagulia! – Oh my goodness how this one applies to the fight.  Kujuchagulia means Self-determination.  Act like you don’t see how that one directly affects our battle with fertility and sexual health.  I learned early on, like sophomore year of high school or something, that me and resolutions are incompatible.  We just don’t work well together.  So, this is not a resolution, but if I did make them, I would say that this past year I was not very active in regards to myself and my own battles.  My self-esteem and direction was tested very early in the year, and while I still got LOADS accomplished, I still let it affect my progress.  To think of how far I could be if I hadn’t gotten in the way of myself, … Anyway, if I made resolutions, I would say that next year I plan to focus a great deal of my energy and determination on achieving my goals.  The fight is bigger than me, yes, but it also includes me and I should do more to cater to that.  I am DETERMINED to have progress and success to show for my activism.  Not just with my own life, but with yours as well.  I would very much like to see that what I do here has affected you positively.  This is my goal.  To start this principle today, I’m writing it down right here.  A simple but important testament to how seriously I take this pledge.

How do you plan to adress your own kujichagulia and umoja today?  Please share!


Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.

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