Kuumba, The Sixth Principle of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa isn’t only about practical ways of uplifting the community. The sixth principle – Kuumba – is the perfect example of this because it celebrates creativity.
“Creativity means to perform acts that leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.”–Dr. Maulana Karanga
Lighting the Sixth Candle
When we light the sixth candle of Kwanzaa, we celebrate how we can channel our creative energies to build and preserve a strong and vibrant community.
There are many artists in our community who are making a difference. They use their creative energy to dance, paint, create music and write books, blogs and columns that feed our souls with emotions and provide a vision of the world through a different lens.
OneUnited Bank celebrates creativity by showcasing works from local artists in our branches and using paintings from Addonis Parker to support our message, including “Mona” as the face of the #BankBlack Movement.
We also use creativity every day, to design graphics to better tell our story, share financial literacy knowledge, and promote the #BuyBlack and #BankBlack movement. We use it when we create events and business partnerships and when we host events – like the upcoming #BankBlackLive event on January 12th at 7 PM – to make sure we deliver on our mission.
Yet, creativity doesn’t have to be art. You don’t need to produce a hit song or write a best-selling novel to be creative. Creativity is also problem-solving – like choosing the safest route to get home, or juggling responsibilities like balancing your finances, marriage, health and work. It can even be simply sharing a photo on Facebook and coming up with something clever to say about it.
Successful businesses are often built by providing creative solutions to everyday problems.
And many businesses wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without the creativity of local entrepreneurs. It’s not easy to go from idea to business plan to physical business to generating profits. Business creativity can have tremendous rewards.
The Missing Ingredient
Having creativity requires one thing – inspiration!
Determined to make enough money to provide her daughter with a formal education, Sarah Breedlove found inspiration in her brothers who were barbers and created the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. And that inspiration took her far. In 1911, she was the first Black woman millionaire in America, and one of the most successful self-made entrepreneurs in our history.
Think about it 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.
So let’s start flexing our creativity. Let’s find new and creative ways to support one another, our businesses, our leaders, our financial institutions, and our community.