Yesterday was the 4th day of Kwanzaa. The principle of the day was Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) = Cooperative Economics. This time last year my husband, my brother-in-law Michael and I decided to use Ujamaa and start a savings program. At that time Michael was sharing our home. We didn’t want to save large amounts of money, just to show that by small, consistent saving together we would have some money on hand at the end of the year. We decided to each put $5 each Friday into the can pictured below. It sat on a table in the living room. We didn’t have any plans beyond saving a small amount and watching it add up. At the end of the year we had $780 in the can. We divided it up and each had $260. It isn’t a lot, but it was totally painless to save that amount each week. Michael has moved to his own place. Jim and I are going to continue the experiment for another year. We are also going to talk about it with during our New Year’s Eve family sleepover. Maybe it’ll catch on.
Today is the second day of Kwanzaa 2013, Kujichagulia, which means self-determination in Kiswahili. The article below was written in 1992 for a newsletter I published for several years for homeschoolers of color. It was written by my daughter Ayanna and describes a home celebration. My family has celebrated Kwanzaa in various ways through the years since the about 1970. Sometimes we celebrated with just our family but often we participated in community celebrations. When we lived in Idlewild, MI we were part of a small group that started the Lake County celebration that was held for one night in the Baldwin and the Yates Township Senior Centers and sometimes people hosted additional nights in their homes.
Click the pages below to enlarge for easier reading.