Kujichagulia, The Second Principle of Kwanzaa

The cover of kuchagua's self-determination.

If we have not learned anything else this year, we have learned the importance of self-determination…or Kujichagulia, the second principle of Kwanzaa.


Kujichagulia isn’t just about you or me. It’s about us – our community – and how we celebrate our culture and independently use our resources to “self-determine” our future. As the founder of Kwanzaa stated:


  • KUJICHAGULIA: “In a time in which occupation and oppression of countries and peoples are immorally presented as necessary and even salvational, the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) rejects this and reaffirms the right of persons and peoples to determine their own destiny and daily lives; to live in peace and security; and to flourish in freedom everywhere.”-Dr. Maulana Karenga

Light the Second Candle


We light the red candle for Kujichagulia, symbolizing the fight to persevere as we work hard to overcome discrimination and adversity in our day-to-day lives. It also symbolizes our determination to take control of our future. We must work with all people and cultures for the good of the community; but we must do so without losing our identity, goals, and self-reliance in the process.


That’s one thing that’s so clear to us at OneUnited Bank and why we support the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack movement. If we put our money into Black-owned businesses in our community, we’ll help those businesses thrive. And not only will business-owners benefit, they’ll need more workers to meet the demands of increased business, so our communities will gain jobs and new sources of income. We will create shared wealth with our own dollars – it’s that simple. We just must be determined to do it.


Kujichagulia also has a personal meaning. For instance, as you reflect on this year, can you identify ways your self-determination paid off? How did you take more control over your life?


There are some financial steps you can take to gain more control of your future, including saving more money and making smart financial decisions. That’s why OneUnited Bank offers a Free Online Financial Education Center. We’re working to promote financial education in our communities, in order to educate our communities about spending money wisely and strategies to save it, so you have it in the good times and the bad.


Are you ready to channel your self-determination to take more control of your life and for the good of our community?

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