Imani: Faith, Necessity of Transmission

The last and final principle acts as an emulsifier, binding each virtue to one link or chain. Belief in our people is not a passive thought stored in our subconscious mind that we reflect upon fleetingly. Faith, according to my comprehension of Dr. Karenga’s principle, is the unrestraint, unconditional, daily active belief in Black organizers, leadership, teachers, parents and elders, within the frame of progress. It is the unshakable restored idea that African Americans are morally and political on the triumphant incline and will achieve its new and once traditional greatness.

United Negro Improvement AssociationThe national organizing effort of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in the early 20th century (1917 – 1930’s) crystallized the active principle of Imani amongst African Americans. Millions of Black folks were proud members and supporters of UNIA’s convicted plan to liberate Africa from colonial rule and organize a massive migration to the Motherland. Dedicated monthly dues on behalf of UNIA members purchased the Black Star Line and financed several businesses which employed over a thousand Black folks. The organization was not without its major complications, however, its mark upon the conscious mind of African Americans would influence generations thereafter. Active faith was manifested in the late 1960’s with the Black Panther Party members’ tireless commitment to the 10 – 10 platform and the belief that the Huey Newton’s freedom will spark the rise of the revolution. Imani would sustain the Nation of Islam’s on-going membership during leadership polarity in the late 1970’s laying the foundation of a vocal prophetic visibility in Black communities across the country for two decades after.

Faith in our leaders, our movements, our elders, and the belief in our once past and inevitable future restoration is Dr. Karenga’s emphasis with Imani. It’s a natural bi-product from the affirmation of our collective identity. It’s the conviction that arises after becoming aware of and experiencing the story of our presence within this country. Once we establish and maintain the institutional infrastructure that may prevent the dissolving of our unique history and experience; securely reform the group dynamics of our economy; declare with unwavering unapologetic commitment our socio-politicalimage identity as African descendants in America (African American?), then it is at this point where the active principle of Imani will become the only ingredient needed to transmit and sustain our ethnic print onto generations beyond our own.

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