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Maulana Karenga

Creator of Kwanzaa

Dr. Maulana Karenga, an internationally recognized activist-scholar, is the creator of Kwanzaa (kwahn’-zah), an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture and is observed throughout the African community on every continent in the world. He has written the definitive text on the holiday titled “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and…

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Dr. Maulana Karenga, an internationally recognized activist-scholar, is the creator of Kwanzaa (kwahn’-zah), an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture and is observed throughout the African community on every continent in the world. He has written the definitive text on the holiday titled “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture”.

In addition, he is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books. His latest works include “Introduction to Black Studies”, “Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt”, “Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings” and “Kawaida: A Communitarian African Philosophy”.

From such past movements as Black Arts, Black Studies and Black Power to the more recent ones of Afrocentricity, the Ancient Egyptian Studies Movement and the Million Man March/Day of Absence, Dr. Karenga has played a critical leadership role in black intellectual and political history since the 1960’s.

In the forefront of the founding and developing of Black Studies, he is the author of the most widely used introductory text in the discipline. He has received numerous awards for his scholarship and service including the prestigious National Council for Black Studies’ “Award for Outstanding Contributions to Black Studies” and its “C.R.L. James Award for Scholarly Publication and Advancing the Discipline,” and the African Heritage Studies Association “President’s Award for Scholarship and Service in the Development of Black Studies.”

Dr. Karenga is currently professor and chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He serves as chair of the President’s Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity. He also serves as the chair of The Organization Us and the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO) as well as executive director of the Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies (KIPAS), Los Angeles.

He has been invited to lecture on major campuses of the United States and internationally in Africa, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Trinidad, Britain and Canada. His topics include “The Philosophy and Practice of Kwanzaa,” “The Philosophy and Life of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King,” “Ancient Egyptian Ethics and Culture,” “Yoruba Philosophy and Culture,” and various other topics in African American and African history, culture and current events.

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The Philosophy and Practice of Kwanzaa

The Philosophy and Life of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

Ancient Egyptian Ethics and Culture

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Interview with Maulana Karenga

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