Kwanzaa 2020: Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

The North Star is a network of Black and Latinx journalists and creators that provide daily news stories and podcasts with action steps that help you get involved. We speak truth to power without fear because our stories, our voices and our lives matter. Please consider becoming a member and enjoy exclusive benefits of our ad-free platform for as little as $5 a month.

Ujima (oo–GEE–mah): Collective Work and Responsibility

To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

From assisting each other during the coronavirus pandemic to looking out for one another in the face of aggressive policing throughout months of protesting, the principle of Ujima was fundamental to Black survival in 2020.

When the Black community in Louisville, Kentucky were reeling in agony from the killing of Breonna Taylor, Black organizers from around the country stood heel-to-toe with them fighting for justice, often subjecting themselves to arrest and brutality.

The year 2020 showed many of us that we do not have the luxury of existing in a silo when it comes to problem-solving. A public health crisis forcibly put the world in the same boat. Decades of inequity and dehumanization prompted Black folks to band together to prevent our pock-filled boat from sinking into the abyss of this gruesome year.

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be