Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NIA - 5th Day of KWANZAA

The Fifth day of Kwanzaa is a focus on service to your family, and community. It's a day of recognizing how your talents and abilities can be used for the purpose of service, not just commerce. It's the force that inspires use to build schools, houses of worship, organizations, and community programs. This is not necessarily about charity as this is the benefit of the community as well as ourselves that we engage in these activities.

In the late 1700's, in Boston although free Blacks were expected to pay taxes, their children were not permitted to attend public schools. In answer to this, community leader Prince Hall secured the services of two divinity school students from Harvard and started a school in the parlor of his home. After a while, the school moved to the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill. This was not an act of charity on the part of Hall, as much as a recognition that the future of the legislatively unrepresented Black community was in the hands of our children and that an educated community was our best hope.

Likewise, among the most important work of the Black Panther Party in the 1960's was the free breakfast program for children in the Black communities. A mind cannot focus on the task of learning if it is hungry. Feeding the future leaders of the Black community was an important need that was otherwise not being met, as many parent could not afford to have breakfast food in the house or left for work in the mornings too early themselves to feed their children.

Today is a day for us to contemplate our purpose and how we can be an asset to the collective.

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