The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Ujima – Collective Work & Responsibility

J.W. Richard over at Mandrake Society Radio is running a series of Kwanzaa-related podcasts this week, in which he’s asked different black LGBT bloggers to speak about the principles of Kwanzaa. I was honored to be asked to reflect on the principle of ujima — collective work and responsibility.

To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

It was December 1st, World AIDS Day, when I sat down to write what I wanted to say. So my mind naturally turned to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African American communities. And in reflecting on that, I couldn’t help remembering some of the things I’d blogged about this year, like reading a great book about homophobia in black churches or reading about and responding to Keith’s experience at Central State University. I thought about Michael Sandy and Dwan Prince. I thought of ministers like Alfred Owens, Willie WIlson and Wellington Boone. I thought about how few African Americans are more like Leonard Pitts.

I thought about all of the above in relation to collective work and responsibility, and poured it into today’s podcast in the Kwanzaa series. I got a little long-winded, but I wanted to make sure I got all of the context in. I hope it’s a useful contribution. Also, check out the previous podcasts addressing Umoja (unity) and Kujichagulia (self determination).


  1. And, thank you so much, T, for being a part of the celebration. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. what is collective work?