TransGriot Note: On each night of the Kwanzaa celebration, just as I did last 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.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Haban gari What’s The News?
It’s time to light the fifth candle on the Kinara and ponder the fifth principle of the seven celebrated during Kwanzaa.
Ujamaa. Another principle that is key to solving what ails Black transpeople. It’s something that we need to consider and cultivate as a long term strategy to cut into the crushing 26% unemployment rate that we are currently grappling with.
Just imagine if we had a network of Black trans owned businesses than not only provided goods and services to our community, but also provided opportunities for employment. There are also professional trans people who are accountants, attorneys, notary publics who could use the business and helping them helps our African American community keep a viable business going, helps us cut unemployment amongst our people and most importantly of all, keeps Black dollars circulating in our community and helps us profit from them together.
So in line with the ujamaa principle, if you are in a position to hire people, consider hiring a transperson. They’ll definitely appreciate the job and won’t take it for granted knowing in the backs of our minds how hard it is for us to get them in the first place.
And transpeople use your dollars to support the businesses in our community and professionals who are us, hire us and stand up for our community. You’ll be doing us and the Black community a favor as well.