Today we celebrate my second favorite principle Kuumba (Creativity), “to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.” The principle has both a social and spiritual dimension and is deeply rooted in social and sacred teachings of African societies.
Having creativity requires a few things – motivation and inspiration! What I can definitely say with pride is my people practically ooze creativity, just look at social media, in the classrooms, on television…everyday all day!! The creative minds of Black folks have birthed ground-breaking inventions, culture-shaping entertainment and fashion and new ways of healing and uplifting the community.
Some ways to practice Kuumba, include taking part in a musical Kwanzaa celebration, painting a mural, starting a garden in your neighborhood, building a new app. Just know that you can create something new, whether it be a piece of art or simply a new idea.
On this day, it is also customary to host a large feast called Karamu, which can be held at home, a community center or a church. The menu usually features foods and ingredients native to the African continent such as yams, okra, tamarind, peanuts, collard greens and hibiscus.
Think about this for a moment…What creative skills do you have that can help build your community? Maybe it’s something you do with your hands, maybe it’s writing a proposal, managing the books as an accountant or leading a team.
It’s the last day of 2022, we are almost there folks!! So the pandemic is still real, but somehow we are managing it. Let’s just say this was another unforgettable year!!
Definitely had some moments that shook the nation with such things as abortion no longer being a constitutional right, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the tragedy in Uvalde (TX), banned books, the retirement of a tennis legend Serena Williams, we got the slap of the century when Will Smith cold clocked slapped Chris Rock, and jaw-dropping seasons of Euphoria and Bridgerton.
In sports news, Argentina wins the World Cup, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl (along with an AMAZING halftime show-Hip Hop and R&B reigning supreme), the Houston Astros win their second World Series title…then you got the suspension of Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka (and his split from Nia Long), Tom Brady retired…back in the game and then divorced, Brittney Griner is released from a Russia prison and returns home to the U.S….and one of my fave moments the Golden State Warriors reclaimed the NBA Title throne!!
Lena Horne became the first Black woman to have a Broadway theater named after her…Two Literary Pioneers were honored with USPS stamps, Toni Morrison and Ernest J. Gaines!
In politics, for the first time in history the four largest U.S. cities New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston will all have Black mayors after this year’s midterm elections…Karen Bass sealed the deal with her historic win! And THANK GOD Georgia did not elect Herschel Walker into the U.S. Senate, we can all breathe a sigh of relief!
The elements are still having their way whether its the frigid winter storm in Buffalo, Hurricane Ian and Fiona, and heat waves coming in July, August and October!!
The Little Mermaid teaser trailer…Just wow!! I’m so ready!!…Also, definitely gotta shout out some good friends for putting me on to Billions and Yellowstone, talk about some good tv!!
Speaking of good tv let me just drop a few more nuggets:
Riches (Amazon Prime Video)
Reasonable Doubt (Hulu)
Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Blood & Water (Netflix)
Dahmer: Monster-The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix)
Raising Kanan: Power Book III (STARZ)
Final season of OWN Network Queen Sugar and FX Atlanta
Cherish the Day (OWN)
The Bear (Hulu)
Let’s Go To The Movies… I was so glad that the theaters have opened back up again, feels good to sit back and relax at my local AMC!!
The Woman King: Finally these stories are being told!!
Everything Everywhere All at Once: Brilliant movie that definitely did not get the pub it should have…such a good movie!!
Top Gun: Maverick: Now that was a fun ride!!
Descendant (Netflix): Gotta love history, especially when they speak the truth!
Confess, Fletch: Pure laughs!!
Bullet Train: Who knew you could enjoy a movie that is set on a bullet train…
Nope: Layered and complex!!
Prey (Hulu definitely knows how to drop those gems!!)
Devotion: A piece of history that I didn’t know about but glad I do now!
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Not a dry eye!! Ryan Coogler & Ruth E. Carter you did it again!! Angela Bassett proved once again why she is that one!!
Remembering those we lost in 2022…Folks that definitely made some sort of impact on my 41 years of life!!
Sidney Poitier (January 6th): The epitome of elegance and stage presence!
Lani Guinier (January 7th)
Bob Saget (January 9th)
André Leon Talley (January 18th)
Charles McGee (January 23rd): One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen!
Cheslie Kyrst (January 30th): Mental Health is real!!
Ivan Reitman (February 13th): Ghostbusters!!
Johnny Brown (March 2nd): Ohhhhh “Good Times”
Traci Braxton (March 12th)
William Hurt (March 13th)
Madeleine Albright (March 23rd)
Gilbert Gottfried (April 12th)
DJ Kay Slay (April 18th): Ahhhh takes me back to my undergrad days
Naomi Judd (April 30th)
Bob Lanier (May 10th)
Ray Liotta (May 26th)
Sam Gilliam (June 25th)
Paul Sorvino (July 25th)
Nichelle Nichols (July 30th): SO Grateful and Thankful for the barriers she broke and the history made!
Bill Russell (July 31st): A legend in every sense of the word!!
Roger E. Mosely (August 7th): I will always remember those days of watching Magnum, P.I. (the original)
Olivia Newton-John (August 8th): Such a sweet soul taken from this earth!
Hanae Mori (August 11th): Haute Couture at its finest!!
Denise Dowse (August 13th)
Mikhail Gorbachev (August 30th)
Queen Elizabeth II (September 8th)
Ramsey Lewis (September 12th)
Pharoah Sanders (September 24th)
Coolio (September 28th): One more “Fantastic Voyage”
Charles Fuller (October 3rd)
Loretta Lynn (October 4th)
Angela Lansbury (October 11th): Murder Mysteries will never be the same!!
Leslie Jordan (October 24th)
Rev. Calvin O. Butts III (October 28th)
Takeoff (November 1st)
John Aniston (November 14th): Soap opera’s will never be the same!
Irene Cara (November 26th): I just wanna dance forever!!
Dorothy Pitman Hughes (December 1st): Co-founder of the prominent feminist publication Ms. Magazine
Kirstie Alley (December 5th)
Paul Silas (December 11th)
Stephen “tWitch” Boss (December 14th)
Franco Harris (December 21st): There will never be another “Immaculate Reception” … One for the books!!
Pelé and Vivienne Westwood (December 29th)
Barbara Walters (December 30th)
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (December 31st): The longest-living pope, having surpassed Pope Leo XIII in September 2020, known as “God’s Rottweiler”.
Beyoncé gave us her 7th studio album, Renaissance...Afrobeats continues to rise and I’m here for all of it! Usher’s Las Vegas show makes huge waves…Ari Lennox brought us Age/Sex/Location…And another bomb soundtrack from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!!
The housing market was a win for sellers, but it looks like that is taking turn back for buyers (I hope so, cause your girls will definitely be looking in 2023). Twitter was bought by Elon Musk…We witnessed our first Black woman Supreme Court Justice, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (RBG is definitely smiling)…and soooooo much more!!
For me 2022, was all about roller coaster rides of life. I had many valley lows and just as many high moments. Sold my house in ATL (the end of an era)…I dealt with with anxiety, some depression, some trauma, and deep loss. Losing my Uncle Oscar hit me deep in my core! And if I am being honest, I am still grieving and probably will for some time. He meant so much to me, he will never be forgotten. There is not a day that doesn’t go by where I just want to shoot him a ring and ask for him to pray with and for me. But when it is all said and done I know he is watching over me, smiling, and having a good laugh with my Grandma!! I definitely got a chance to travel and collect some more passport stamps. I went to New Mexico for the first time, tried real Belgium waffles IN Belgium (Twice)!! Presented at Wonder-Con (Anaheim, CA), gave a keynote lecture at Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium). Got to celebrate Black History Month twice once in the US and in London!! Went to the Roots Picnic in Philly…Celebrated many of my friends 40th Birthday’s….that was fun!
Even got me a new ride…a Christmas gift to myself!!
This year I got to spend a lot of time on several beaches and oh was that therapeutic (Thank you Turks and Caicos and Playa del Carmen)…Lord knows I love the water!!
…It was good to be back in the classroom for another semester with some AMAZING students!! I am truly grateful to have this job/career. I look forward to completing 2023 as I will (I’m claiming) get through my Third-Year Review and become another step closer towards Tenure!! Oh and I got boosted again! I launched a new project, Black Girl Magic in Media (BGMM) and let me tell you I am very excited about what is in store! Be on the lookout for what is in store!
I continue to learn more about myself…grow…find balance…navigate all the moving parts of my life…and taking one day at a time!
Let me just say I am also very thankful for my BFF family and friends!! I look forward to bringing you more good news and culture in 2023!!