Today we light this candle celebrating Kumbaa – creativity manifested through the vibrant, unapologetic expressions of our communities. The creative impulse flows through us inherited from ancestors and kindled to blaze trails for those coming after us. 

 Kumbaa asks us to build beyond just function – to infuse our hands, words, notes sung with that divine urgent spark seeking release only through birthing beauty, truth and light. Our creativity stands mightily to testify against forces that aim to squeeze the humanity from our bones.

 The songs, paintings, poems of yesterday carry the weight of souls continuing to echo from unmarked graves on southern backroads to cement walls in northern cities. Creation gives immortality – binding us to those here before crying out stories in jungle blues, city hip hop, country spirituals. The creative spirit cannot be contained when spoken through strings, keys, beats pounding out ancestral pain and hope. 

 The journey of creative self-mastery is not walked for self-glorification, but to uncover the full genius we are each gifted to uplift humanity. What wondrous symphony awaits when all instruments find their notes? What vibrant hues will paint the future when each palette contributes unapologetic brush strokes?

 We shift culture by celebrating bold visions of what can be. But transformation requires an expansive chorus of voices. As creatives nourish radical imagination and excellence in craft, we each have responsibility to swing open gates – to generously guide emerging voices that widen representations on pages, on screens and stages.

 Let mastery not culminate at mountain peaks travelled alone, but flow back down streams into valleys where potential swells. For when those who have dared climb highest bend to kneel and cultivate gifts now growing from concrete below, we turn lone prodigy into prospering collective legacy. This is creativity manifested to its highest form.

 Our creativity bursts at the seams with narratives too urgent to go unspoken. The solos and stanzas composed today carry strength for shoulders bearing burdens tomorrow. Let creativity demand we be seen, heard, felt fully. Let bold creation be prohibited only by the depth of our imaginations and skill to birth them.


Food for consideration:

1) What responsibility do you feel to purposefully nurture your gifts to humanize/empower marginalized communities?

 2) How can you leverage your creative platforms, profits and influence to provide access/opportunities for up-and-coming diverse voices? 

 3) How can we foster more intentional collaboration among creatives committed to projects advancing collective empowerment over isolated individual gain?



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