Siku ya Taamuli
Day of Assessment and Meditation
The last day of Kwanzaa is the first day of the new year, January
Historically this has been for African people a time of sober
assessment of things done and things to do, of self-reflection and
reflection on the life and future of the people and of
recommitment to their highest cultural values in a special way.
Kwanzaa is based upon the premise of KAWAIDA:
"that social revolutionary change for Black America can be
achieved by the act of revealing and disclosing individuals to
their cultural African heritage."
Each year, on January 1st, Dr. Karenga suggests that we ask
ourselves the three (3) Kawaida questions, originally posed by
Frantz Fanon, author of "Wretched of the Earth."
1. Who am I?
"To answer the question of "Who am I?" correctly, then, is to know
and live one's history and to practice one's culture."
2. Am I really all I say I am?
"To answer the question of "Am I really all I say I am?" is to
have and employ a cultural criteria of authenticity, i.e.,
criteria of what is real and unreal, what is appearance and
essence, what is culturally-rooted and foreign."
3. Am I all I ought to be?
"And to answer the question of "Am I all I ought to be?" is to
self-consciously possess and use ethical and cultural standards
which measure men, women and children in terms of the quality of
their thought and practice in the context of who they are and must
become - in both an African and human sense."
And it is, of necessity, a time to recommit ourselves to our
highest ideals, in a word, to the best of what it means to be both
African and human in the fullest sense.
This Day of Assessment or Day of Meditation is noted in the
first-fruits celebration of the Akan by J. B. Danquah. He states
that the Akan have one day during the first-fruits harvest in
which they simply engage in quiet reflection:
"The idea on this (day) is to maintain a quiet, humble and calm
attitude with regard to oneself and towards one's neighbors."
It is thus a good time for reassessment and recommitment on a
personal and family lev el.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!