Kwanzaa Day 4 – Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics.

Kwanzaa Day 4 – Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics.

Habari Gani?


Ujamaa (oo-jah’-mah) – Cooperative Economics.



Ujamaa means that African Americans must strive to open and maintain businesses. This also means that African Americans should patronize African and African American businesses.

My family embraces all local small business. We patronize small bookstores, locally owned restaurants that source their ingredients within a one hundred mile radius (as a gluten free American this can be tricky sometimes!), farmer’s markets (especially when I am traveling in the summer), and boutiques, hair dressers, and products (haircare for the dreads!)

Local businesses put money back into the community instead of sending it to corporate entities in other places, local youth see their friends and neighbors running businesses, there are often unique items that cannot be found in other places, and you can get to know the owners.

What are some of the locally owned businesses in your area?
When is the last time you shopped in a local business?
Have you ever been in an African American establishment?
What can you do to support local businesses in your community this year?

Reflection: The Ring

Source of Image
There was a wise and good man who had done very well for himself. He was well respected, and people came to him for advice.

The reason he was so wise and productive was because when he was young he’d been given a magic ring.

His three children were a willful, wasteful, brawling bunch.

They never bothered to control themselves, because each was certain their father would pass the magic ring to them.

At his funeral, each child was given a box. When they opened them, they discovered identical golden rings.

Nobody could figure out who had gotten the magic ring.

An old woman astood and said, “Ah, I think I know your father’s mind. Each of you must put on your ring. Whichever of you is cured of your mad ways, that is the one who has the true ring.”

When the eldest son put on the ring, he saw his father’s hands as they helped him up each time he failed.

The daughter saw the ring glinting in the light as it had the numerous times she and her father had discussions.

The youngest felt the smooth metal that had always moved across his skin when his father hugged him. He knew he would not disappoint this man he respected.

The siblings worked together and built their father’s business into a very successful enterprise. They never forgot their neighbors and friends, and helped anyone who needed it. Each was as kind and helpful to their siblings as they could be because they understood that the others had it harder because they didn’t have a magic ring to smooth their path.

Nobody in the village was ever able to tell who had gotten the true ring.

Happy Kwanzaa!