Kwanzaa: Day 2 Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) Koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah

The second day of Kwanzaa we reflect on the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination). Determination means clarity or firmness of purpose. If we are going to accomplish a goal we need determination. Determined also says that we must have faith, because to be determined we literally have to lean on a power that is greater than ourselves (that helps us become unwavering).

In our determined spirit, we must have the resolve that we must persevere. Trust in God is necessary, but if we don’t have the resolve or fighting spirit to press on and believe in ourselves, family, and community, we will fail. Self-Determination is the belief that we won’t let anyone define, name, or create for ourselves.

We should know God’s will for our lives and not let others tell us what we should pursue or be focused on. Having Self-Determination is being able to keep focused on a goal and not let others or things deter us or speak for us. At the same time self-determination speaks to a reality about our very nature. It’s not healthy to be dependent on people nor is it healthy to think we don’t need people to help or assist us on our journey. We can’t understand Self-determination unless we know the difference between dependence, independence, and interdependence.

Dependent means to rely heavily on others to help and assist. Independent means to do everything by yourself. Interdependence is the happy medium. To be interdependent means we recognize that we can’t depend on others but understand that we can’t make it by ourselves. Self-Determination speaks to our collective struggle and recognizes that we need one another without using people or being so anti-social we think we can make it in life alone.

Self-Determination theory was formally founded in 2000.. According to Self-Determination theory, Self-determination occurs when a person or group make their own decisions regarding their life and how it is managed. The theory Starts with two assumptions:

Human beings (innately) strive for growth Internal sources of motivation are essential

The theory says, in order for this to take place people need to be autonomous (capable of existing independently) , competent (to have ability or capacity) and connected (linked together). Self-Determination theory was founded in 2000. Yet Maulena Karenga penned Self-Determination as one of the essential principles for Kwanzaa and the African Diaspora in 1966. Being able to define and defend ourselves is essential for the development of all families, communities, etc.

Kwanzaa was shunned in its early years. The formal development of Self-Determination theory, ,proved Maulana Karenga was on to something and affirmed what he already knew. Self-Determination is essential for humans and groups of people.

The growth of a nation or people will require Self-determination rooted in interdependence. In order to define, name, create, speak and defend ourselves requires Unity and Self-determination.  Think for a moment about the Self-Determination of Richard Allen, William Paul Quinn,  Daniel Alexander Payne, Paul Quinn, Henry McNeal Turner, Frederick Douglass,  Jarena Lee, Sojourner Truth,  Anna Murray Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Mary Shadd Cary,  and Sarah Parker Remond. They didn’t make it by themselves but no one defined, named, created, or spoke for them. Because of there self-determination they are recorded in the annals of history as Progressive Voices, Change Agents and Freedom Fighters.

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