African people in North America, Africa, and the Caribbean and across the entire African Diaspora must face the challenge with the issue of Human Security. Human Security is a concept of security that deals with the everyday challenges that humans face that do not necessarily deal with military and police issues. Human security focuses on seven categories of threats – 1) Economic, 2) Food, 3) Health, 4) Environmental, 5) Personal,
6) Community and 7) Political – (Table 1).
Table 1: Seven Major Areas of Human Security
Assured basic income
Access to adequate and reasonably pure safe food supply
Access to basic healthcare (including dental, eye care and hearing), medicine and preventative care.
Access to clean water, air, noise; safe work and living environment.
Safety from physical violence, crime and threats
Safety and freedom from ethnic cleansing and genocide
Protection of basic human rights and freedoms; due process and other Constitutional guarantees and protection.
These seven basic areas of human security will always need addressing to assure that the worldwide Black community will survive during the present and future millennium for our descendants. Our communities may take some of these issues up and others are issues of public policy, which we, as African people, should compel our governments to achieve (such as food, health and environmental security) through normal policy processes and politics. The other issues of concern such as human rights, safety from genocide and ethnic cleansing as in the case of community and political security are the province of the United Nations, other international non-governmental organization (INGOs) and each of us personally. When we decide not to participate in crimes against humanity those things lose possibility. Adopting a personal code of doing what is inherently right will connect us with each other across the world and strengthen the bond we share by virtue of our African blood. A good beginning is to adopt the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, established by Maulana Karenga, everyday rather than annually. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are derived from African-centered tradition. The Principles are as follows: 1) Umoja or Unity, which stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, and is reflected in the African saying, “I am We,” or “I am because We are.”
2) Kujichagulia or Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
3) Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we also have a role to play in the community, society, and world.
4) Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support. 5) Nia or Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.
6) Kuumba or Creativity which makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.
7) Imani or Faith which focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.
We therefore must always choose to be better and seek to address the issues that arise from shared human security. Let us keep the conversation going, think about what we can do personally to uphold human security and share with someone else including me. I may be reached at email@example.com or in care of the Afro News.