EDITOR’S NOTE: To recognize Black History Month, the MDJ asked 20 community leaders how they will celebrate and what BHM means to them. Today we feature former Georgia State House candidate and Cobb Democratic Women Chair Chinita Allen.
Chinita Allen says Black history is about far more than the month of February.
“It’s funny, because I know that Black history, previously it was a week, but now it’s a month, but I tend to celebrate it every day,” Allen said. “So rather than Black history, having like a Black History Month, it’s more like a celebration, a year-long celebration.”
In keeping with that belief, Allen has been working throughout the year to better live out the seven principles of Kwanzaa, celebrated after Christmas. The concepts of “Ujima,” or collective work, and “Nia,” or purpose, have been among those she’s focused on.
But one concept in particular has stood out to her: “Kujichagulia,” meaning self-determination.
“To reach for that, not just that particular day, but for that particular month, or year, or five years out ... what little steps are you taking on a daily basis to reach your goals?
“I’m trying to make a concerted effort to make sure that we are uplifting not just what’s in my immediate surroundings on a daily basis ... but how am I helping to build leadership within other young folks and adults in general, who might be trying to create a space or an avenue that is different from where they’re coming?”