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Day 6 of Kwanzaa: Kuumba means creativity or turn off that television!

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Call: Habari Gani?! (What's going on?)

Response: Kuumba! [koo-oom-bah]

See my previous article about Kwanzaa for an explanation of the call and response.

Today is the sixth day of the Kwanzaa celebration, and it is focused on creativity.

In our kinaras, we light the middle, black candle, the red candle that sits next to the black candle on the left, the green candle that sits next to the black candle on the right, the red candle that sits in the middle of all three red candles, the green candle that sits in the middle of all three green candles and the outer-most red candle.

According to the Nguzo Saba, as written by Maulana Karenga, creativity means:

"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"

Since the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa should be implemented all year long, let’s talk about how to make that happen.

Think of your favorite television shows and/or movies. Now search your mental Rolodex and name at least three characters who are portrayed to be active, creative and productive who sit and "veg" out in front of the television. Even the characters who sit and play video games all day are shown to be unproductive and unintelligent.

One major way we can implement the principle of creativity is to snatch our children's attention away from the television and this includes video games!

Instead of allowing our children to watch other people live life, let's equip our children with the tools they'll need to create productive lives for themselves and their children; something life-affirming that they'll be able to pass down for generations.

Encourage your children to draw. Who knows. You may have the next Jacob Lawrence sitting in your living room.

Encourage your children to learn a musical instrument. Who knows. The next Miles Davis may be eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at your kitchen table.

Encourage your children to read and write book reports about what they've learned. Who knows. Oprah Winfrey's unwitting replacement may be combing a black Barbie doll's hair with her friends at at sleepover.

Television and video games in moderation aren't bad things, but teaching our children to be creative, to learn the things at which they excel, means our children could be creating hit television shows/movies and amazing video games instead of paying hundreds of dollars to other people who aren't vegging out in front of the television or gaming console but using their creative talents to leave a legacy for their own children.

Let's teach black children to be creators and not just consumers.

Can you think of other ways to implement the principle of Kuumba? Please leave comments with your ideas.

Happy Kwanzaa!

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