Dr. Maulana Karenga is professor and chair of the Department of Black
Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He is also chair of the President's Task Force on Multicultural
Education and Campus Diversity at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Karenga holds two Ph.D.'s; his first
in political science with focus on the theory and practice of nationalism (United States International University)
and his second in social ethics with a focus on the classical African ethics of ancient Egypt (University of Southern
"Kwanzaa the African-American celebration was formulated,
devised, developed and initiated by Dr. Maulana
Karenga on December 26, 1966. The operational under pinnings
philosophy is based on the cultural principles of the theory called Kawaida. The Kawaida theory premise is that
social revolutionary change for African-America can be achieved by the act of revealing and disclosing individuals
to their cultural heritage.
During the early and middle sixties Dr. Karenga
noted that many community based groups were functioning and utilizing a myriad of ideologies, plans, and social
approaches to assist African-Americans to obtain social changes in this era of Civil Rights in America. The cultural
social under pinnings of the Kawaida Theory give conditions that would enhance the revolutionary social change
for the masses of African-Americans. The first condition to be addressed is the major exploitation of African-America
during the months of October, November, December or the Christmas Season. The second condition was that during
this time in history, African-Americans did not have a holiday. Review of the major holidays celebrated by the
American society would reveal that not one related to the growth and development or essence of African-Americans.
The third condition Dr. Maulana Karenga postulated was a reassessment, reclaiming, recommitment, remembrance, retrieval,
resumption, resurrection, and rejuvenation of those principles (A Way of Life) utilized by African-Americans' ancestors.
The principles (A Way of Life) allowed them to endure slavery, racism, and oppressions during our sojourn in American.
Dr. Maulana Karenga utilized the concept of Kwanzaa as the framework to address these major conditions of 1966
and to assist in the resolution of others." (For more information on Dr. Karenga, and the source for
most of the information on these pages, go to http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/karengabio.html )
- THE OFFICIAL KWANZAA WEB SITE
Folk Stories for Kwanza
THE WISDOM OF AFRICAN MYTHOLOGY