ICYMI: Our First #ExtraordinaryKwanzaa Celebration

Every day is a great day to reflect on and strategize to build upon the greatness of Black folks. Kwanzaa, the seven-day celebration of African-American heritage, culture, and community, gives us yet another opportunity to think at length about how we can work together and harness our collective brilliance and boundless potential for excellence to thrive out here in the 2000 and the 18 and beyond. In case you missed it, behold our first Extraordinary Kwanzaa celebration.


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As 2017 comes to a close, we celebrate the start of #Kwanzaawith the first principle, #umoja, which implores us to strive for unity/togetherness in our communities, both large and small. Support your sister's dreams and right to safety, wellbeing, and prosperity. Lend your brotherman a hand, a dollar, or some lotion in his time of need. We're stronger together as one mighty, moisturized fist than as individual, self-serving ashy knuckles in the battle against melanin envy, footfaced presidential gargoyles, and institutional hateration in the dancerie. How are you embodying "umoja" on today?  (View on Instagram)


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The second principle of #Kwanza emphasizes the importance of self-determination. By defining ourselves, we control our own narratives and eliminate outside influences bathed in bronzers and "blaccents". This principle manifests in establishing our own banks, voting for our best interests, creating our own publications and media outlets, or pestering niggas outside of Wal-Mart to cop your mixtape. If there’s a dollar and a dream to be had, go forth and claim your destiny. Because as a community, we can’t build Black generational wealth without you. (View on Instagram)


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It takes a village to keep it together and thrive in the age of dumpsterhearted presidential swampdonkeys in a post-Teen Summit society. Day 3 of Kwanzaa, Ujima, encourages collective work and responsibility. In the absence of a competent, humane government and with culture vulturing and gentrification on the rise, working together as we battle brazen unmoisturized mediocrity is essential for our survival. Straighten your sister's wig so she can be great. Help your brother start that du-rag emporium/bookstore that the community really needs. Discretely notify people you love of visible boogers like a good human. And so forth. (View on Instagram)


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Day four of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa, highlights the importance of building our communities through cooperative economics, because graceful aging and rhythm are likely the only reparations we'll see this lifetime. With our brilliance, boundless creativity, and resourcefulness, we have the tools we need to be great, thrive despite melanin envy-inspired institutional hateration in the dancerie, and support our communities in the fight against Mainstream America's aggressive mediocrity (and spontaneous combustion caused by Iggy Azalea music). Combine resources, knowledge, connections, and those award-winning baby hair & fingerwave designs with your homies and start the next legendary hair care empire. Revisit that church-lady-hat-of-the-month subscription situation or mobile white stocking repair service with cousin Beebop so the Meemaws can stunt in style and you can finally put all your automobills on autopay. Think big. You got this. (View on Instagram)


As we approach a new year with Fool and the Gang in charge, it's important to start the 2000 and the 18 off with intention and a reminder of why you're in this coleslaw-loving world. On the fifth day of Kwanzaa, we reflect on our individual and collective purposes as those fortunate enough to be born Black, and as members of an expansive community with rich history and endless potential. Whether you sling stocks, rocks, knowledge, or tummy tea to uplift and empower the community, when in doubt, ask yourself, "What would Nia do?" You'll be just fine. (View on Instagram)


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In an age when aggressive mediocrity is rewarded, now ain't the time to be afraid of using your ideas, gifts, and brilliance out here. Day 6 of Kwanzaa is about remembering to embrace and flaunt your creativity, and boldly using it to entertain, educate, engage, or make the world a bit less terrible. As Blackness is the gift that keeps on giving (the world its culture and trends), tucking in your greatness here in the land of the lackluster and the home of the patriotic parasites is an affront to your ancestors. Plus, 4 out of 5 culture vultures recommend a daily dose of Black Excellence for whiter teeth and lowered cholesterol. (The 5th was at an Eminem show and unavailable for comment.) (View on Instagram)


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The final day of Kwanzaa emphasizes the thug motivation that inspires the previous six days. More than a name, Imani is about believing in the power of our personal and collective greatness to change the world and vanquish ashiness, wackness, and institutional hateration from the dancerie. You is smart. You is kind. And you is too important to live a lackluster life or let your gifts go to waste. When things get unjiggy, remember our resourcefulness and resilience. Besides, you're Black. You already won. (View on Instagram)

Shoutout to Blackness.