On the third day of Kwanzaa, I relate the principle Ujima to the song “ None of us are free” by Solomon Burke. I heard this song on a prison documentary concerning a mother who received an unfair sentence. Others advocated for her to be released and she eventually was after nearly two decades.
Some of the lyrics read “ There are voices still calling across the years. And they’re all crying across the ocean and they’re crying across the land. And they will till we all come to understand. None of us are free. If one of us is chained. None of us are free.”
In a culture, where people love the phrase “ Me and Mines”. Ujima focuses on collective work and responsibility. It emphasizes building and maintaining a community together and making our brothers and sisters problems our problems, and to solve them together. I’ve seen Ujima in action this year with the case of Cyntoia Brown and even recently Andrew Johnson (New Jersey teen wrestler).
Let’s continue in the spirit “ Ujima” Your pain is my pain. https://youtu.be/eFkmRp_G2uo
Onward and Upward,Phyllis G. Williams