KWANZAA- KUUMBA-CREATIVITY- Guerreras y Poetas/Warriors and Poets
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.
Greetings familia on the last day of 2012,
Today we reflect and celebrate on KUUMBA- CREATIVITY. This principle presents itself in our community with a big smile. It shows in everyone I have shared with you in the last six days. We are a creative bunchJ
I love how we express ourselves through music, clothes, poetry and our facial expressions. I enjoy our facial expressions. They always tell the story before the words come out.
Self-expression is something I cheer on in a society that forces us to look and talk the same to be accepted. It is up to us to tell it the way we need to and want to.
As I reflect on this principle I want to share an experience at a conference I attended this year. I attended a Human Rights conference and after speaking someone asked if I could find another word to use other than “racism” and “exclusion” that would make others listen. I responded saying, those words speak to my reality and I was not willing to change it to make others comfortable and I was not willing to give up my truth. The person went on throughout the conference trying to explain to me what she was trying to say. They were so many “wrongs” in her approach. Finally when she did get me alone, she said she needed to explain what she was saying. I heard her out and at the end I shared that I heard her but there was nothing she could possibly say that would change my position or the words I used to tell MY story. My spirit knows no other way.
Telling OUR story in our way, the way that it will be heard and most importantly in a way that it would honor our ancestors and heal our community is a MUST familia, as we move into a New Year. I have learned to practice KUUMBA-CREATIVITY on an ongoing basis because what Encuentro Diaspora Afro moves to do is not always received with open arms. We have had to tell the story through film, music and dialogue. People need to hear the truth in many forms for them to reach their truth, their transformation.
Writing has become my KUUMBA-CREATIVE way to get closer to you. This year we celebrated the words of Afrodescendent Women of Latin America and the Caribbean in the labor of love book “Women Warriors of the Afro Latina Diaspora” by Marta Moreno Vega, Marinieves Alba and I. We are so proud of the book because it brought you closer to the reality of women in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Venezuela to name a few. This was our way to celebrate us by doing it the way we know best by telling our own story and elevating these amazing Guerreras.
If you have not picked up a copy, please do so. We need to celebrate US as much we can.
The other moment of great joy and KUUMBA- CREATIVITY was the release of the “Antologia de Poesia Colonense.” By now you know how in love I am with my Colon so when I was asked to be a part of this book, I was beside myself. It has been a wonderful gift to work with Sr. Luis and Mr. Winston. Their support has fueled a natural comfort with my own words. Colon has had a tough year so this book brings us closer to what we inherited as a creative group of people. When you read the words of these poets we move closer to our natural beauty. I am PROUD to be a member of Grupo Poesia Colonense Contemporanea. Please visit our website and learn more about the poets and Colon. http://
Each of you makes our community beautiful. Continue to share your story, your truth. It is through our KUUMBA-CREATIVITY that we raise the spirit of those who see themselves in your words, your actions.
We will continue to restore our light together familia. Giving thanks to you for a year filled with your love and support.
Be safe and see you in the New Year!!