Ujima: To build and maintain our community together and make our sister’s and brother’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
We have been given an order a demand by the creator of the universe to take care of one another. To make your issue my issue. To not close our eyes when another is wounded but to ask, how can I help? When there is trash on the street it doesn’t matter if you put it there or not it is our command from the first Adam to have dominion over the earth, sea, animals, and land and to pick up that trash.
I am a black trans man I am not a thief. I am not a nigger. I am not a low life. Just because I come from poverty I am not poverty. Just because I struggle with a mental illness I am not my mental illness and it is not all of me. Just because I am on disability that doesn’t mean I don’t work nor am I lazy. I am a student and scholar in the making studying and pursuing and double master’s degree. No ma’am, no sir just because I wear a dark hoodie you don’t need to follow me around the store. Just because I smile at you doesn’t mean I intend to cause you harm. Why are you so afraid of the color of my skin? Am I not more than my blackness? Can you not see that I belong to a family? Officer, please don’t search me, not all black people look alike. Officer, please don’t shoot at me use your words. I am educated and can speak eloquently. If you don’t stop to ask my name or ask my story, you’ll never know. Will you?
“The only thing about rivers is you can’t step into the same river twice. The waters are always changing always flowing… and we all must pay a price to miss a chance at never knowing” Pochantos (Disney 1995)
To everyone we only have one earth. Yes, it costs more to go green but it hurts a lot more to die. We are killing animals, homes, and the earth. We are responsible for the calamity and destruction we must change our ways and do it NOW! We must demand that the gov’t hear our voices and make our votes count or vote them out. We must stand up for what is noble, pure, good, wholesome, loving, kind, and decent; sacred. I want kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. I want to change this earth for foster youth behind me and foster young adults I can’t do that if we all keep our eyes closed hoping for the next person to fix it.
Ujima is a call to action. A call to authority. I am first a Child of the God, a Black, African American Queer Man! I will be treated with dignity and respect and value. I will treat this earth with respect and kindness and dignity. I will start this year, NOW demanding my rights from my gov’t to vote freely and fairly and lastly I will be my brother’s and sister’s keeper.
What is your Ujima?
Joyous Kwanzaa. In Memory of oh Rep. John Lewis
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