Black History Month II: Honoring the Dignity & Divinty of Woman in our Community

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Dr. Karenga (2007) contends that “Dr. Anna Julia Cooper, is a founding theorist of what we call today womanism which Kawaida philosophy defines as “thought and practice directed towards reaffirming the equal dignity and divinity of woman and securing for her the rights and capacity to live a free, full and fulfilling life.”

It is of great importance to recognize and respect the critical need and necessity of our women in the Afro American and equally in the Native American Indian community, as it is indeed to do the same throughout the world for all women. Moreover, as nature should have it we must first respect and raise up the beauty and value of our own before we pay homage to the women of others, in particular the European. Thus, while March is women’s history month we make it a special point to see this month as Black History month II with a focus on our women.

We self consciously do this because in the Black and Indian community we are know all too well the oppressor’s onslaught on our women as he has done upon our community at large in a vain attempt to dehumanize us as a people.

Nonetheless, we are not now nor never beat down; in contrast we engage the struggle to assert ourselves in community and society being the best of who we are as a people with a fervor matched only by the intense heat of the sun at mid day on the Nile valley. Furthermore, we do this unashamedly as a definitive people with a definitive history.

Thus, in this addition of Black Path Commentary, we pay homage to a woman who, like her ancestors Dr. Anna Julia Cooper and Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer, is a woman warrior of rightness and righteousness. In addition, to that end, I am referring to Ms. Acintia Wright.

Ms Wright through her steadfastness is seeking to secure for others, especially women, as well as herself; the right and capacity to live a free, full and fulfilling life in the midst of a menacing public health issue that we know all too well, however it seems to some it is not an issue anymore. It is as Dr. Karenga (2013) writes in his article Cherishing and Choosing Life: Black Ethics, Culture & HIV/AIDS in the Los Angles Sentinel, that,  "This year, like last year, we cannot help but notice and make note that HIV/AIDS is not a prominent presidential, congressional, state or locally-promoted concern although, for us as a people, it is still a deadly and disabling disease, in spite of its becoming a less urgent issue with others., (P.A-6)

In spite of the adversity of HIV/AIDS not being of the eminence that it once held when White gay men initiated the discourse, and subsequently the direction of services, funding as to who were recipients of the benefits of research etc. Ms. Acintia Wright; teacher, activist, and mother extraordinaire, maintains a clear vision and unwavering love and hope for her people while on a daily basis she engages the struggle to heal our community of the devastation of HIV and AIDS. Furthermore, Ms Wright is the Education/Testing Outreach Coordinator at San Ysidro Health Centers in San Diego, CA. She is San Diego’s representative of the Positive Women’s Network steering committee, and one of the founders of the Woman 2 Woman support group for African American women in San Diego. Additionally, Acintia is the current chair of the Faith Based Action Coalition and the chair of the San Diego Care Partnership. This past World AIDS Day Dec 1, 2012 Acintia organized and led churches and community to the streets in a prayer vigil and rally regarding the statistics of HIV positive people; and Acintia is the coordinator of the National Week of Prayer events that are held annually here in San Diego. In addition, she is acknowledged by the State of California Legislators for her community involvement in the struggle of prevention and intervention with the public health issue of HIV and AIDs.

With insight, initiative, dedication, sacrifice and achievement reminiscent of the tradition and in the spirit of Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Anna Julia Cooper and Fannie Lou Hammer, Acintia is recognized locally, and internationally as well. In 2010, Acintia was awarded the Dr. Brad Truax award for her steadfastness leadership in HIV and AIDs Education and Prevention, serving as the California representative for The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. This prestigious honor is given annually to recognize the exceptional contributions made by a person involved in the struggle in healing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our community, society, and indeed the world.

For her quintessential leadership and role in this awesome task, Ms. Wright is nominated to Dr. Shirley Weber’s Inaugural Salute to Women Leaders in the 79th District. This event will take place March 17 @ SDSU. For details, contact Lashae Collins at (619) 462-7878 in the office of Assembly member Shirley Weber. And in the final analysis, Acintia is my friend, my sister, and I am honored and humbled to be her friend and brother in the ongoing struggle in the interest of securing our community’s health and well-being.

Min. Tukufu Kalonji is Founder/Kasisi of Kawaida African Ministries. For info contact @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reference: Karenga, M. (2013) Cherishing and choosing life: Black ethics, culture and hiv/aids in Los Angeles Sentinel, 02-07-13, p.A-6