Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Kwanzaa Black Trans Style-Ujima

TransGriot Note:   On each night of the Kwanzaa celebration this year, I'm going to write about each one of those principles and explain how it applies to the chocolate trans community and our cis African descended brothers and sisters.  

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Haban gani?    What's the news?

It's time to light the third candle on the Kinara and ponder the third principle of the seven celebrated during Kwanzaa

Ujima.   Such an appropriate word and principle as we African descended transpeople are about to enter a new year   .We have a two pronged task ahead of us in terms of not only closing ranks to build our own community and maintaining it, but offering our talents in helping to build the overall African-American community we are part of as well.

I have been heartened to see we have taken steps to build that community together.  The National Black Justice Coalition has been reaching out to us and we to them.    We have also begun having those ongoing conversations amongst ourselves.  

We realize in the African American trans community that we need to do a better job internally of making our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems.   At the same time the cis African-American community needs to come to the same realization that our problems, in terms of our unemployment issues, the HIV/AIDS infection rate, 70% of the people on the Remembering Out dead list being POC's and the anti-trans faith based hatred that fuels the violence directed at us is their problem as well.

A healthy African American trans community also leads to a segment of the African American family who can held uplift all of our people and allow us to live up to the ujima principle.   We can't help do our share of the collective work needed to uplift the race if our lives are unstable because we can't get jobs or people refuse to hire us.

As members of the African American community we have trans people who are willing to do our part to help solve the problems that ail our community and extend our hand in solidarity to our peeps as we offer our help an expertise in doing so. 

All we want and need from our African American family is the opportunity..   

African descended transpeople know we come from mighty people.   The issues we deal with being trans while daunting at times, are just a minor speed bump compared to the issues we deal with as African descended people.  We know there is no problem we can't solve as long as we pull together and collectively work at it. 

Our history proves that.   We have overcome far greater challenges, and this one will be done in the way we always have, by pulling together, taking collective responsibility for them, working hard and coming up with the solutions to solve those problems.

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