Habari Gani? Imani!
Hope is the pillar of the world. – African Proverb
Imani, of Faith, is the last of the Nguzo Saba (7 Principles). The Black community thrives on faith. Faith isn’t just a hope. It’s a vision of where we WILL be. In the time of slavery, our ancestors held on to the hope that one day they would be free. During the middle of the century, our grandparents and leaders held on to the faith that one day we would all be equal. Faith is part of the building block of our community because without faith, there is no reason to fight for better, to work for better, to support each other for the better. Like a load bearing wall, faith holds us up when everything around us seems to crumble.
Like Nia and Kuumba, Imani/Faith is a Green candle because of the hope we have in our future. Open any newspaper article now and you will see news of issues plaguing our community. As we have for so many decades, we are faced with a rising number of our young men in prison, or worse, dead whether by each other’s hands or by law enforcement.We tend to think of a Higher Power when we think of having faith. And while that is important, it is just as necessary to have faith in oneself. It is by the faith our community had that we can vote, marry, congregate…win elections.
It makes sense that Imani would come last. We started by joining together in Unity (Umoja) and we end by having faith in ourselves and our community. It ends with believing in each other.
The focus of Imani/Faith Day is on trust and reflection. Today is a day to really think about what you want for the future and reaffirm your faith in not just the world around you, but in yourself to make it happen. Here are some activities for Imani Day:
- Light the last GREEN candle and ask: Habari Gani? Imani!
- Pour a drink into the Unity Cup in honor of our loved ones who passed on before us.
- Spend some time in silence and inactivity and reflect on life as it is now and as you want it to be in the near future. Meditate.
- If you are celebrating with family and friends, take a moment to talk about how having faith in yourself and others has manifested over the past year.
- This is the last day of Kwanzaa and so reflecting over the the other 6 principles. How do they relate to each other? How can you use Imani to strengthen them? How can you incorporate Imani more in the coming year?
- Celebrate each other and celebrate your ancestors at the final Karamu (feast)!
Harambe! And thank you for celebrating with me and my family.
Heri za Kwanzaa! And Happy New Year!
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