How to Celebrate Kwanzaa

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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is a holiday invented in 1966 by Ronald Karenga (founder of the Black Power group "Us
Organization") through which African Americans can connect with their heritage and culture. It's
celebrated from December 26 through January 1, with each of the seven days focusing on one of
seven core values, or Nguzo Saba. A candle is lit on each day, and on the last day, gifts are
exchanged. Since Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday rather than a religious one, it can be celebrated
alongside Christmas or Hanukkah, or on its own, although Karenga wished for it to be celebrated
instead of Christmas and Hanukkah, as he felt these holidays were simply symbols of the dominant
cultures in America.
Decorate your home or the main room with the symbols of Kwanzaa. Put a green
tablecloth over a centrally located table, and on top of that, place the Mkeka which is a
straw or woven mat that symbolizes the historical foundation of African ancestry. Place the
following on the Mkeka:
Mazao — fruit or crops placed in a bowl, representing the community's productivity.
Kinara — a seven-pronged candle-holder.
Mishumaa Saba — the seven candles which represent the seven core principles of
Kwanzaa. Three candles on the left are red, representing struggle; three on the right
are green, representing hope; and one in the center is black, signifying the African
American people or those who draw their heritage from Africa.
Muhindi — ears of corn. Lay out one ear of corn for each child; if there are no
children, place two ears to represent the children of the community.
Zawadi — various gifts for the children.
Kikombe cha Umoja — a cup to represent family and community unity.
Decorate around the room with Kwanzaa flags, called Bendera, and posters
emphasizing the seven principles. You can purchase or make these, and it's especially
fun to make them with the kids.
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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
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See How to make a flag for details on flag making. Click here
instructions on how to color in the Bendera.
for detailed
If you or your children enjoy making flags, try making African national or tribal
in addition to the Bendera.
Practice the Kwanzaa greetings. Starting on December 26, greet everyone by saying
"Habari Gani" which is a standard Swahili greeting meaning "what is the news?" If someone
greets you, respond with the principle (Nguzo Saba) for that day:
December 26: "Umoja" — Unity
December 27: "Kujichagulia" — Self-determination
December 28: "Ujima" — Collective work and responsibility
December 29: "Ujamaa" — Cooperative economics
December 30: "Nia" — Purpose
December 31: "Kuumba" — Creativity
January 1: "Imani" — Faith.
Non African-Americans are also welcome to participate in greetings. The traditional
greeting for them is "Joyous Kwanzaa."
Light the Kinara daily. Since each candle represents a specific principle, they are lit one
day at a time, in a certain order. The black candle is always lit first. Some people light the
remaining candles from left to right (red to green) while other people alternate as follows:
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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
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Black candle
Far left red candle
Far right green candle
Second red candle
Second green candle
Last red candle
Last green candle
Celebrate Kwanzaa in a variety of different ways. Pick and choose some or all of the
following activities throughout the seven days of Kwanzaa, saving the feast for the sixth
day. Kwanzaa ceremony may include:
Drumming and musical selections.
Readings of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness.
Reflections on the Pan-African colors, discussions of African principles of the day, or
recitations of chapters in African history.
The candle-lighting ritual of the Kinara.
Artistic performances.
Have the Kwanzaa Karamu (feast) on the sixth day (New Year's Eve). The Kwanzaa
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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
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feast is a very special event that brings everyone closer to their African roots. It is
traditionally held on December 31st and is a communal and cooperative effort. Decorate the
place where the feast will be held in a red, green, and black scheme. A large Kwanzaa
setting should dominate the room where the feast will be held. A large Mkeka should be
placed in the center of the floor where the food is placed creatively and made accessible to
all to serve themselves. Before and during the feast, an informative and entertaining
program should be presented.
Traditionally, the program should involve welcoming, remembering, reassessment,
recommitment and rejoicing, concluded by a farewell statement and a call for greater
During the feast, libations are to be shared from a communal cup, the Kikombe cha
Umoja, passed around to all celebrants.
Give out the gifts of Kuumba. Kuumba, meaning creativity, is highly encouraged and
brings a sense of self-satisfaction. The gifts are usually exchanged between the parents
and children and are given out traditionally on January 1st, the last day of Kwanzaa. Since
the giving of gifts has very much to do with Kuumba, the gifts should be of an educational or
artistic nature.
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How to Celebrate Kwanzaa: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
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Kwanzaa means "first fruits of the harvest" in the African language Kiswahili. Many of the
phrases used in Kwanzaa are in Swahili, which was the language chosen to represent African
Things You'll Need
Mkeka (woven mat)
Flag materials
Green tablecloth
Black, red, and green candles
Gifts of different principles
Related wikiHows
How to Celebrate Hanukkah
How to Celebrate Christmas
How to Celebrate Diwali
How to Be Proud to Be Black
How to Find Long Lasting Candles
Sources and Citations – research source – research source – research source
1/12/2013 5:36 PM
Three Wikipedia Articles
PDF generated using the open source mwlib toolkit. See for more information.
PDF generated at: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 23:39:32 UTC
Maulana Karenga
Co-operative economics
Article Sources and Contributors
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
Article Licenses
2003 Kwanzaa celebration with its founder, Maulana Karenga, and others
Observed by
African Americans, parts of African Diaspora
Cultural and ethnic
Celebrates African heritage, unity and culture.
December 26 to January 1
Collective Work and Responsibility
Cooperative Economics
Related to
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora
in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is
observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving.[1] Kwanzaa has seven core
principles (Nguzo Saba): Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics,
purpose, creativity, and faith. It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
History and etymology
Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African-American holiday.[2] Karenga said his
goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate
themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."The name Kwanzaa
derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. The choice of Swahili, an
East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, despite the fact that
most East African nations were not involved in the Atlantic slave trade that brought African people to America.[3]
Kwanzaa was a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a
means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in
meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzu Saba, the "seven principles of African Heritage" which
Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy".
During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas, that Jesus was
psychotic, and that Christianity was a white religion which black people should shun.[4] However, as Kwanzaa
gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so that practicing Christians would not be alienated, then
stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, "Kwanzaa was not created to give
people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday."[5]
Many Christian African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.[6]
Principles and symbols
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu
Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy,"
consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world."
These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of
Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
• Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
• Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for
• Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our
brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
• Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to
profit from them together.
• Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore
our people to their traditional greatness.
• Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more
beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
• Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in God, our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the
righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat on which other symbols are placed, corn and other crops, a candle holder
with seven candles, called a kinara, a communal cup for pouring libations, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and
a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.[7]
Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects
of art; colorful African cloth such as kente, especially the wearing of
kaftans by women; and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is
customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give
respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations are shared, generally with
a common chalice, Kikombe cha Umoja, passed around to all
celebrants. Non-African Americans also celebrate Kwanzaa.[8] The
holiday greeting is "Joyous Kwanzaa".[9][10][11]
A Kwanzaa ceremony may include drumming and musical selections,
libations, a reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of
Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colors, a discussion of the
African principle of the day or a chapter in African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally,
a feast (karamu). The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is Habari Gani?[12] which is Swahili for "What's the
A woman lighting kinara candles
At first, observers of Kwanzaa avoided the mixing of the holiday or its symbols, values, and practice with other
holidays, as doing so would violate the principle of kujichagulia (self-determination) and thus violate the integrity of
the holiday, which is partially intended as a reclamation of important African values. Today, many African American
families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year's. Frequently, both Christmas trees and kinaras, the
traditional candle holder symbolic of African American roots, share space in Kwanzaa-celebrating households. For
people who celebrate both holidays, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic
heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.
Cultural exhibitions include the Spirit of Kwanzaa, an annual celebration held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts featuring interpretive dance, African dance, song and poetry.[14][15]
The first Kwanzaa stamp was issued by the United States Postal
Service on October 22, 1997, with artwork by Synthia Saint James.[16]
In 2004, a second Kwanzaa stamp, designed by Daniel Minter, was
issued; this has seven figures in colorful robes symbolizing the seven
The holiday has also spread to Canada, and is celebrated by Black
Canadians in a similar fashion as in America.[18]
The first U.S. postage stamp commemorating
Kwanzaa, issued in 1997. Artwork by Synthia
Saint James.
In 2004, BIG Research conducted a marketing survey in the United
States for the National Retail Foundation, which found that 1.6% of
those surveyed planned to celebrate Kwanzaa. If generalized to the US
population as a whole, this would imply that around 4.7 million people planned to celebrate Kwanzaa in that year.[19]
In a 2006 speech, Ron Karenga asserted that 28 million people celebrate Kwanzaa. He has always claimed it is
celebrated all over the world.[1] Lee D. Baker puts the number at 12 million.[20] The African American Cultural
Center claimed 30 million in 2009.[21] In 2011, Keith Mayes said that 2 million people participated in Kwanzaa.[21]
According to Keith Mayes, the author of Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday
Tradition, the popularity within the US has "leveled off" as the black power movement there has declined, and now
between half and two million people celebrate Kwanzaa in the US, or between one and five percent of African
Americans. Mayes adds that white institutions now celebrate it.[8]
The holiday has also spread to Canada, and is celebrated by Black Canadians in a similar fashion as in the United
States.[18] According to the Language Portal of Canada, "this fairly new tradition has [also] gained in popularity in
France, Great Britain, Jamaica and Brazil", although this information has not been confirmed with authoritative
sources from these countries.[22]
In Brazil, in recent years the term Kwanzaa has been applied by a few institutions as a synonym for the festivities of
the Black Awareness Day, commemorated on November 20 in honor of Zumbi dos Palmares,[23][24] having little to
do with the celebration as it was originally conceived.
In 2009, Maya Angelou narrated the documentary The Black Candle, a film about Kwanzaa.
[1] "Why Kwanzaa Video" (http:/ / www. africanholocaust. net/ news_ah/ kwanzaa. html). "Ron Karenga". .
[2] Alexander, Ron (1983-12-30). "The Evening Hours" (http:/ / select. nytimes. com/ search/ restricted/
article?res=F00B1EFD395C0C738FDDAB0994DB484D81). New York Times". . Retrieved 2006-12-15.
[3] http:/ / books. google. co. za/ books?id=1rHLyC2yHQ8C& q=Mozambique#v=snippet& q=Mozambique& f=false The Atlantic Slave Trade
By Herbert S. Klein Klein
[4] Karenga, Maulana (1967). "Religion" (http:/ / www. piratepundit. com/ karenga6. html). In Clyde Halisi, James Mtume. The quotable
Karenga. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press. pp. 25. 23769.8. .
[5] J. Lawrence Scholer, " The story of Kwanzaa (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080401093652/ http:/ / dartreview. com/ archives/ 2001/ 01/
15/ the_story_of_kwaanza. php)", Dartmouth Review, 15 January 2001.
[6] Williams, Lena (1990-12-20). "In Blacks' Homes, the Christmas and Kwanzaa Spirits Meet" (http:/ / www. nytimes. com/ 1990/ 12/ 20/
garden/ in-blacks-homes-the-christmas-and-kwanzaa-spirits-meet. html?pagewanted=1). The New York Times. . Retrieved 2010-05-07.
[7] "The Symbols of Kwanzaa" (http:/ / www. officialkwanzaawebsite. org/ symbols. shtml). . Retrieved 2010-12-24.
[8] Keith Mayes, cited by Megan K. Scott, " Kwanzaa celebrations continue, but boom is over (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20091220052310/
http:/ / www. buffalonews. com/ 260/ story/ 897568. html)", Buffalo News, 17 December 2009. Accessed 25 December 2009.
[9] Bush, George W. (2004-12-23). "Presidential Kwanzaa Message, 2004" (http:/ / georgewbush-whitehouse. archives. gov/ news/ releases/
2004/ 12/ 20041223-2. html). Office of the Press Secretary. . Retrieved 2007-12-24.
[10] "Clinton offers holiday messages" (http:/ / www. cnn. com/ ALLPOLITICS/ 1997/ 12/ 23/ message/ ). CNN. 1997-12-23. . Retrieved
[11] Gale, Elaine (1998-12-26). "Appeal of Kwanzaa continues to grow; holidays: today marks start of the seven-day celebration of African
culture, which began in Watts 32 years ago and is now observed by millions." (http:/ / pqasb. pqarchiver. com/ latimes/ access/ 37610058.
html?dids=37610058:37610058& FMT=ABS& FMTS=ABS:FT& date=Dec+ 26,+ 1998& author=ELAINE+ GALE& pub=Los+ Angeles+
Times& desc=Appeal+ of+ Kwanzaa+ Continues+ to+ Grow;+ Holidays:+ Today+ marks+ start+ of+ the+ seven-day+ celebration+ of+
African+ culture,+ which+ began+ in+ Watts+ 32+ years+ ago+ and+ is+ now+ observed+ by+ millions. & pqatl=google). Los Angeles
Times. . Retrieved 2007-12-24.
[12] Offical Kwanzaa site | Greeting (http:/ / www. officialkwanzaawebsite. org/ greetings_and. shtml)
[13] Swahili Meaning (http:/ / www. omniglot. com/ language/ phrases/ swahili. php)
[14] The Spirit of Kwanzaa (http:/ / www. kennedy-center. org/ calendar/ index. cfm?fuseaction=showEvent& past=true& event=RHXAP)
[15] The Dance Institute of Washington (http:/ / www. danceinstitute. org/ aboutus3g. html)
[16] Bringing Good Into the World (http:/ / www. officialkwanzaawebsite. org/ kwanzaastamp. shtml)
[17] Kwanzaa featured on this year's holiday U.S. postage stamp (http:/ / www. usps. com/ communications/ news/ stamps/ 2004/ sr04_070. htm)
[18] "The principles of Kwanzaa" (http:/ / archives. cbc. ca/ society/ celebrations/ clips/ 16226/ ). CBC. Broadcast Date: Dec. 28, 1993. .
Retrieved 2011-12-16.
[19] "2004 Holiday Spending by Region" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20041118072528/ http:/ / www. nrf. com/ content/ default.
asp?folder=press/ holiday& file=HolidayRegion1004. htm), 'Survey by BIGresearch, conducted for National Retail Foundation', 14 October
[20] Manning Marable, Dispatches from the Ebony Tower, p. 224.
[21] " Kwanzaa celebration unites African-American community (http:/ / thepost. ohiou. edu/ content/
kwanzaa-celebration-unites-african-american-community)", The Post, Ohio University, 1 November 2011. Accessed 25 December 2012.
[22] "Celebrate Kwanzaa!" (http:/ / www. noslangues-ourlanguages. gc. ca/ bien-well/ fra-eng/ vocabulaire-vocabulary/ clbrt-kwanzaa-eng.
html). Government of Canada. Date Modified: 2011-02-21. . Retrieved 2011-12-16.
[23] Celebration of Kwanzaa (http:/ / www. prefeitura. sp. gov. br/ portal/ a_cidade/ noticias/ index. php?p=5702) on Black Awareness Day in
São Paulo.
[24] Celebration of Kwanzaa (http:/ / www. cultura. ba. gov. br/ 2011/ 10/ 20/
escola-olodum-comemora-28-anos-de-luta-pela-cidadania-e-valorizacao-da-cultura-afro/ ) on the 28th anniversary of Olodum School in
Salvador, Bahia.
External links
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site (
The Black Candle: a Kwanzaa film narrated by Maya Angelou (
Why Kwanzaa was created by Karenga (
The History Channel: Kwanzaa (
Interview ( Karenga discusses the evolution
of the holiday and its meaning. Tavis Smiley (NPR)
• Kwanzaa at (
• Camille Jackson, " Kwanzaa: A threat to Christmas? (",
Nigeria Daily News, 23 December 2005.
Maulana Karenga
Maulana Karenga
Maulana Karenga
Karenga, center, with wife Tiamoyo at left, celebrating Kwanzaa at the Rochester Institute of Technology on December 12, 2003
Ronald McKinley Everett
July 14, 1941
Parsonsburg, Maryland
Brenda Lorraine "Haiba" Karenga (Divorced)
Tiamoyo Karenga (1970-present)
http:/ / www. maulanakarenga. org/
Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett[2][3][4] on July 14, 1941) is an African-American
professor of Africana Studies, activist and author, best known as the creator of the pan-African and
African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. Karenga was a major figure in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and
1970s and co-founded with Hakim Jamal the black nationalist and social change organization US.
Early life
Ron Everett was born in Parsonsburg, Maryland, the fourteenth child and seventh son in the family. His father was a
tenant farmer and Baptist minister who employed the family to work fields under an effective sharecropping
arrangement.[5] Everett moved to Los Angeles in 1959, joining his older brother who was a teacher there, and
attended Los Angeles City College (LACC). He became active with civil rights organizations CORE and SNCC,
took an interest in African studies, and was elected as LACC's first African-American student president.[6] After
earning his associate degree, he matriculated at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and earned B.A.
and M.A. degrees in political science. He studied Swahili, Arabic and other African-related subjects. Among his
influences at UCLA were Jamaican anthropologist and Negritudist Councill Taylor who contested the Eurocentric
view of alien cultures as primitive.[7] During this period he took the name Karenga (Swahili for "keeper of
tradition") and the title Maulana (Swahili-Arabic for "master teacher").[5] While pursuing his doctorate at UCLA, he
taught African culture classes for local African-Americans and joined a study group called the Circle of Seven.
Maulana Karenga
1960s activism
The Watts uprising broke out as Karenga was a year into his doctoral studies. Karenga and the Circle of Seven
established a community organization in the aftermath called US (meaning "Us black people").[8] The organization
joined in several community revival programs and was featured in press reports. Karenga cited Malcolm X's
Afro-American Unity program as an influence on the US organization's work:
Malcolm was the major African American thinker that influenced me in terms of nationalism and
Pan-Africanism. As you know, towards the end, when Malcolm is expanding his concept of Islam, and
of nationalism, he stresses Pan-Africanism in a particular way. And he argues that, and this is where we
have the whole idea that cultural revolution and the need for revolution, he argues that we need a
cultural revolution, he argues that we must return to Africa culturally and spiritually, even if we can’t go
physically. And so that’s a tremendous impact on US.[9]
As racial disturbances spread across the country, Karenga appeared at a series of black power conferences, joining
other groups in urging the establishment of a separate political structure for African-Americans.
US became a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO and was put on a series of lists describing it as dangerous,
revolutionary and committed to armed struggle in the Black Power Movement.[10] US developed a youth component
with para-military aspects called the Simba Wachanga which advocated and practiced community self-defense and
service to the masses.
Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966[11] to be the first pan-African holiday. He said his goal was to "give Blacks an
alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather
than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."[12] It is inspired by African "first fruit" traditions, and the
name is derived from the name for the Swahili first fruit celebration, “matunda ya kwanza.” [13] The rituals of the
holiday promote African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the "seven principles of African Heritage" which Karenga
described as "a communitarian African philosophy":
• Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
• Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for
• Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our
brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
• Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to
profit from them together.
• Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to
restore our people to their traditional greatness.
• Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more
beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
• Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the
righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Maulana Karenga
Conflict with the Black Panther Party
US engaged in violent competition with the Black Panther Party in their claim to be a revolutionary vanguard. This
heightened level of conflict eventually led to a shoot-out at UCLA in 1969 in which two Panthers were killed and a
Simba was shot in the back. Following the UCLA shootout, Panthers and US members carried out a series of
retaliatory shootings that resulted in at least two more murders of Panthers.[14]
The FBI attempted to aggravate the conflict. Tactics used to foment and aggravate conflict between US and the
Panthers included poison-pen letters, defamatory cartoons, agents provocateurs, and creating suspicion of members
of each organization as agents.[15]
Conviction for assault
In 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false
imprisonment.[16] One of the victims gave testimony of how Karenga and other men tortured her and another
woman. The woman described having been stripped and beaten with an electrical cord. Karenga's estranged wife,
Brenda Lorraine Karenga, testified that she sat on the other woman’s stomach while another man forced water into
her mouth through a hose.
A May 14, 1971, article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of the women:
"Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were
whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their
clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss
Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put
detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters."[17]
Jones and Brenda Karenga testified that Karenga believed the women were conspiring to poison him, which Davis
has attributed to a combination of ongoing police pressure and his own drug abuse.[5][18]
Karenga denied any involvement in the torture, and argued that the prosecution was political in nature.[5][19] He was
imprisoned at the California Men's Colony, where he studied and wrote on feminism, Pan-Africanism and other
subjects. The US organization fell into disarray during his absence and was disbanded in 1974. After he petitioned
several black state officials to support his parole on fair sentencing grounds, it was granted in 1975.[20]
Karenga has declined to discuss the convictions with reporters and does not mention them in biographical
materials.[18] During a 2007 appearance at Wabash College he again denied the charges and described himself as a
former political prisoner.[21] The convictions nonetheless continue to generate controversy during Kwanzaa
Later career
After his parole Karenga re-established the US organization under a new structure. He was awarded his first Ph.D. in
1976 from United States International University (now known as Alliant International University) for a 170-page
dissertation entitled Afro-American Nationalism: Social Strategy and Struggle for Community. Later in his career, in
1994, he was awarded a second Ph.D., in social ethics, from the University of Southern California (USC), for an
803-page dissertation entitled "Maat, the moral ideal in ancient Egypt: A study in classical African ethics."
In 1977, he formulated a set of principles called Kawaida, a Swahili term for normal. Karenga called on African
Americans to adopt his secular humanism and reject other practices as mythical (Karenga 1977, pp. 14, 23, 24, 27,
Karenga is the Chair of the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach. He is the
director of the Kawaida Institute for Pan African Studies and the author of several books, including his "Introduction
to Black Studies", a comprehensive Black/African Studies textbook now in its fourth edition. He is also known for
Maulana Karenga
having co-hosted, in 1984, a conference that gave rise to the Association for the Study of Classical African
Civilizations, and in 1995, he sat on the organizing committee and authored the mission statement of the Million
Man March.
Karenga delivered a eulogy at the 2001 funeral service of New Black Panther Party leader Khalid Abdul
Muhammad, praising him for his organizing activities and commitment to black empowerment.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Maulana Karenga on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[22]
• Karenga starred in Motherland, a sequel to 500 Years Later.
• He is featured in the 2008 Kwanzaa documentary, The Black Candle.
• In 2005 Karenga appeared with other African academics featured in the multi-award winning film 500 Years
Later, directed by Owen 'Alik Shahadah.
• USA the Movie - Voice only.
Published works
• Introduction to Black Studies, 2002, 3rd edition, University of Sankore Press, ISBN 0-943412-23-4
Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, 1998, ISBN 0-943412-21-8
Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt ISBN 0-415-94753-7
Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings ISBN 0-943412-22-6
Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle ISBN 0-943412-29-0
Selections from the Husia ISBN 0-943412-06-4
Book of Coming Forth By Day ISBN 0-943412-14-5
Handbook of Black Studies co-edited with Molefi Kete Asante, ISBN 0-7619-2840-5
The Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology, co-edited with Haki Madhubuti ISBN
• Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait , Polity, ISBN ISBN 0-7456-4828-6
[1] Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait (http:/ / www. jpanafrican. com/ docs/ vol3no9/ 3. 9MaulanaKarengaNew. pdf)
[2] De Leon, David (1994). Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=D413ig1BCw8C& pg=PA390#v=onepage& q& f=false) (1st ed.). p. 390. ISBN 978-0313274145. . Retrieved 2012-05-13.
[3] Chapman, Roger, ed. (2010). Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=vRY27FkGJAUC& pg=PA308& lpg=PA308) (Encyclopedia). p. 308. ISBN 978-0765617613. . Retrieved 2012-05-13. "The
seven-day holiday Kwanzaa ... was originated by Ron "Maulana" Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett)"
[4] Meyes, Keith A. (2009). Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=Vhgk72OGBRYC& pg=PA52#v=onepage& q& f=false). p. 308. ISBN 978-0415998550. . Retrieved 2012-05-13. "Ronald
McKinley Everett was born in 1941. Maulana Kerenga was born sometimes in 1963"
[5] Brown, Scot (2003). Fighting for US. ISBN 978-0-8147-9878-2.
[6] Otnes, Cele C.; Lowrey, Tina M., eds. (2011). Contemporary Consumption Rituals.
[7] Karenga, Maulana (2002). UCLA Center for African American Studies, Oral History Program. Interview with Elston L. Carr. University of
[8] Hayes, III, Floyd W.; Jeffries, Judson L., "Us Does Not Stand for United Slaves!", Black Power in the Belly of the Beast (Chicago: University
of Illinois Press): 74–5
[9] "Maulana Karenga Malcolm X" (http:/ / www. thehistorymakers. com/ biography/ biography. asp?bioindex=378&
category=educationMakers). "The History Makers". .
[10] "COINTELPRO -- Black Nationalist Hate Groups (1967-1971)" (http:/ / www. icdc. com/ ~paulwolf/ cointelpro/ blacknationalist. htm). FBI
COINTELPRO Documents. . Retrieved 28 September 2011.
[11] Alexander, Ron (1983-12-30). "The Evening Hours" (http:/ / select. nytimes. com/ search/ restricted/
article?res=F00B1EFD395C0C738FDDAB0994DB484D81). New York Times". . Retrieved 2006-12-15.
Maulana Karenga
[12] Kwanzaa celebrates culture, principles (http:/ / media. www. brookhavencourier. com/ media/ storage/ paper807/ news/ 2008/ 11/ 24/ News/
Kwanzaa. Celebrates. Culture. Principles-3560412. shtml)
[13] http:/ / www. addictinginfo. org/ 2012/ 12/ 15/ 10-winter-holidays-you-might-not-know-about/
[14] Brown, Elaine. A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story. (New York: Doubleday, 1992) p.184
[15] "INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES AND THE RIGHTS OF AMERICANS" (http:/ / www. icdc. com/ ~paulwolf/ cointelpro/
[16] Scholer, J. Lawrence (January 15, 2001). "The Story of Kwanzaa" (http:/ / www. hartford-hwp. com/ archives/ 45a/ 767. html). The
Dartmouth Review. .
[17] "Karenga Tortured Women Followers, Wife Tells Court" (http:/ / pqasb. pqarchiver. com/ latimes/ access/ 698873952. html?FMT=ABS&
FMTS=ABS:AI& type=historic& date=May+ 13,+ 1971& author=& pub=Los+ Angeles+ Times+ (1923-Current+ File)& edition=&
startpage=3& desc=Karenga+ Tortured+ Women+ Followers,+ Wife+ Tells+ Court). Los Angeles Times: 3. May 13, 1971. .
[18] Swanson, Perry (November 22, 2006). "Backers say past of founder doesn’t diminish Kwanzaa" (http:/ / www. gazette. com/ articles/
karenga-19049-kwanzaa-times. html). The Gazette (Colorado Springs). .
[19] Halisi, Clyde (1972), Maulana Ron Karenga: Black Leader in Captivity. Black Scholar, May, pp. 27-31.
[20] ""Whatever happened to... Ron Karenga". Ebony 30 (11): 170. September 1975.
[21] Stewart, Brandon (2007-12-01). "The Story of Ron Karenga, Kwanzaa's Founder" (http:/ / www. wabashunion. org/ dec2007/
the-story-of-ron-karenga-kwanzaa’s-founder). . Retrieved 2012-12-30.
[22] Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books. ISBN
External links
• Official Maulana Karenga Site (
• Faculty web page (
• The Organization Us (
• Official Kwanzaa Web site (
• Maulana Karenga ( at the Internet Movie Database
• Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Monograph about US, April, 1968 (
• Biography of Dr. Maulana Karenga. (
• 500 Years Later The Film Site (
• Interview with Dr. Karenga (, PBS
Public Broadcasting Service and WGBH/Frontline
• A Post-Obama Kwanzaa ( by
Michael Eric Dyson December 29, 2008
• 7 Facts About Dr. Maulana Karenga (
Co-operative economics
Co-operative economics
Co-operative economics is a field of economics, socialist economics, co-operative studies, and political economy,
which is concerned with co-operatives.
Notable theoreticians who have contributed to the field include Robert Owen,[1] Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Charles
Gide,[2] Beatrice and Sydney Webb,[3] J.T.W. Mitchell, Peter Kropotkin,[4] Paul Lambart,[5] Race Mathews,[6] David
Griffiths,[7] and G.D.H. Cole.[8]
Co-operative federalism versus co-operative individualism
A major historical debate in co-operative economics has been between co-operative federalism and co-operative
individualism. In an Owenite village of cooperation or a commune, the residents would be both the producers and
consumers of its products. However, for a co-operative, the producers and consumers of its products become two
different groups of people, and thus, there are two different sets of people who could be defined as its 'users'. As a
result, we can define two different modes of co-operative organisation: consumers' cooperative, in which the
consumers of a co-operative's goods and services are defined as its users (including food co-operatives, credit
unions, etc.), producer co-operatives, in which the producers of a co-operatives goods and services are defined as its
users. (Some consider worker co-operatives, which are owned and run exclusively by their worker owners as a third
class, others view this as part of the producer category.) .
This in turn led to a debate between those who support Consumers' Co-operatives (known as the Co-operative
Federalists) and those who favor Producers Co-operatives (pejoratively labelled ‘Individualist' co-operativists by the
Federalists[9] ).[10]
Co-operative federalism
Co-operative Federalism is the school of thought favouring consumer co-operative societies. Historically, its
proponents have included JTW Mitchell and Charles Gide, as well as Paul Lambart and Beatrice Webb. The
co-operative federalists argue that consumers should form co-operative wholesale societies (Co-operative
Federations in which all members are co-operators, the best historical example of which being CWS in the United
Kingdom), and that these co-operative wholesale societies should undertake purchasing farms or factories. They
argue that profits (or surpluses) from these co-operative wholesale societies should be paid as dividends to the
member co-operators, rather than to their workers.[11]
Co-operative Individualism
Co-operative Individualism is the school of thought favouring workers' co-operative societies. The most notable
proponents of this latter being, in Britain, the Christian Socialists, and later writers like Joseph Reeves, putting this
forth as a path to State Socialism.[12] Where the Co-operative Federalists argue for federations in which consumer
co-operators federate, and receive the monetary dividends, rather, in co-operative wholesale societies the profits (or
surpluses) would be paid as dividends to their workers.[11] The Mondragón Co-operatives are an economic model
commonly cited by Co-operative Individualists, and a lot of the Co-operative Individualist literature deals with these
Please note that these two schools of thought are not necessarily in binary opposition a priori, and that hybrids
between the two positions are possible.[11]
Co-operative economics
Other schools
Retailers' cooperatives
In addition to customer vs. worker ownership, retailers' cooperatives also utilize organizations of already constituted
corporations as collective owners of the produce.
Socialism and left-wing anarchism
Socialists and left-anarchists, such as anarcho-communists and anarcho-syndicalists, view society as one big
cooperative, and feel that goods produced by all should be distributed equitably to all members of the society, not
necessarily through a market. All the members of a society are considered to be both producers and consumers. State
socialists tend to favor government administration of the economy, while left-anarchists and libertarian socialists
favor non-governmental coordination, either locally, or through labor unions and worker cooperatives.
Utopian socialists feel socialism can be achieved without class struggle and that cooperatives should only include
those who voluntarily choose to participate in them. Some participants in the kibbutz movement and other intentional
communities fall into this category.
Co-operative commonwealth
In some Co-operative economics literature, the aim is the achievement of a Co-operative Commonwealth; a society
based on cooperative and socialist principles. Co-operative economists - Federalist, Individualist, and otherwise have presented the extension of their economic model to its natural limits as a goal.
This ideal was widely supported in early-twentieth century U.S. and Canadian leftist circles. This ideal, and the
language behind it, were central to the formation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1935, which
became Canada's largest left-wing political party, and continues to this day as the New Democratic Party. They were
also important to the economic principles of the Farmer-Labor Party of the United States, particularly in the FLP's
Minnesota affiliate, where advocacy for a Co-operative Commonwealth formed the central theme of the Party's
platform from 1934, until the Minnesota FLP merged with the state Democratic Party to form the
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party in 1944.
[1] Owen, Robert, "A New View of Society" (originally published in 1813/1814), in Gartrell, V.A. (ed.), "Report to the County of Lanark / A
New View of Society", Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1970.
[2] Gide, Charles; as translated from French by the Co-operative Reference Library, Dublin, "Consumers' Co-Operative Societies", Manchester:
The Co-Operative Union Limited, 1921
[3] Potter, Beatrice, "The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain", London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1891.
[4] Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902) (1998 paperback ed.). London: Freedom Press. ISBN 0-900384-36-0.
[5] Lambert, Paul; as translated by Létarges, Joseph; and Flanagan, D.; “Studies in the Social Philosophy of Co-operation”, (originally published
March 1959), Manchester: Co-operative Union, Ltd., 1963.
[6] Mathews, Race, "Building the society of equals : worker co-operatives and the A.L.P.", Melbourne: Victorian Fabian Society, 1983.
[7] Charles, Graeme, and Griffiths, David, “The Co-operative Formation Decision: Discussing the Co-operative Option”, Frankston: Co-operative
Federation of Victoria Ltd., 2003 and 2004
[8] Cole, G.D.H., “The British Co-operative Movement in a Socialist Society: A Report for the Fabian Society”, London: George Allen & Unwin
Ltd., 1951., and Cole, G.D.H., “A Century of Co-operation”, Oxford: George Allen & Unwin for The Co-operative Union Ltd., 1944.
[9] Lewis, p. 244.
[10] This analysis is based on a discussion by Gide, Charles; as translated from French by the Co-operative Reference Library, Dublin,
"Consumers' CoOperative Societies", Manchester: The Cooperative Union Limited, 1921, pp. 192-203.
[11] This analysis is based on a discussion by Gide, Charles, pp. 192-203.
[12] Reeves, Joseph, “A Century of Rochdale Cooperation 1844-1944”, London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1944.
Co-operative economics
Further reading
• Consumers' Co-operative Societies (, by Charles Gide, 1922
• Co-operation 1921-1947 (, published monthly by The Co-operative
League of America
• The History of Co-operation (, by George Jacob Holyoake, 1908
• Cooperative Peace (, by James Peter Warbasse, 1950
• Problems Of Cooperation (, by James Peter Warbasse, 1941
• Why Co-ops? What Are They? How Do They Work? (
Coops/Coops_TOC.htm) A pamphlet from the G.I. Roundtable series by Joseph G. Knapp, 1944
• Law of Cooperatives (, by Legal Firm Stoel Rives,
• For All The People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism
in America, PM Press, by John Curl, 2009
Article Sources and Contributors
Article Sources and Contributors
Kwanzaa Source: Contributors: 00791abcdawg,, ABF, ARUNKUMAR P.R, Academic Challenger, Acalamari, Ace101,
Acet0ne, Acroterion, Addshore, Aepryus, Afa86, Al95521, Alansohn, Alex Bakharev, AlexanderWinston, Alexius08, AliaGemma, Alkivar, Allens, Alohawolf, Alyssapvr, Amcaja, Amcbride,
AnakngAraw, Anakolouthon, Angela, Angrynight, Anibar E, Antandrus, Archer3, ArchonMagnus, Arthur Ellis, Ashton Coochter, Aspensti, Asteriks, Audiosmurf, Avicennasis, Awiseman, B,
BTChicago, Babajobu, Bassbonerocks, Bastique, Bbx, Bcorr, Beggarsbanquet, Benjwgarner, Betterusername, Big jee, Biggerbetterfastermore, Bigtimepeace, Bikeable, BillyTFried, Birdhombre,
Blainster, Bluezy, Bobo192, Bovlb, Bowenandarrow, Briaboru, Briano, Brown Hornet, Bryan Derksen, Bucketman, Bushcutter, Bwithh, Bzero, C019552, CIS, Cadcamino, Calmer Waters,
Camyoung54, Can't sleep, clown will eat me, Caper13, Capmo, Captain Henry Morgan, Caspian blue, Causa sui, Cbmaster, Cdc, Cdpanic, Centrx, Cfpresley, Chainedlady, Chaosthird,
Chocogurl252, Chooserr, Chris 73, Chris G, ChristTrekker, Christopher Parham, Cibyd, Cinch99, CjGenius, Closedmouth, Cmichael, CoYep, Coastieinakilt, Coffee, Cohesion, Cometstyles,
ConCompS, Condoti, Conversion script, Corporaljohnny, Corvus cornix, Cp111, Crippler p, Crossmr, Crotalus horridus, Crownjewel82, Crumpled Fire, Cuchullain, CutOffTies,
Cyanolinguophile, Cybermac442, Cyde, D Namtar, DVdm, Da Stressor, Daniel5127, DanielCD, Dannown, DarTar, Darillakilla, Darkwrath184, Darwinek, DavidConrad, DavidFarmbrough,
DavidOaks, Davidhand, Dayv, Dbachmann, DeadEyeArrow, Dear Reader, Deeceevoice, Deltabeignet, Deltaquadboi, DemonicPartyHat, DerHexer, Derild4921, Dethme0w, Diberri, Diderot,
Diego Grez, Dina, Dirrrrrty, Discospinster, DiverScout, DoSiDo, Doc glasgow, Donner60, Dream out loud, DreamGuy, Dreamwiki, Drmies, Drmistermaster, ESkog, Edgar181, Edit24, Eeekster,
Egyptica, Ekbarrett, El C, Elefuntboy, Eleland, Eleuther, Emgunner, Emote, Encyclopedist, Eraserhead1, Ericamick, Erik Corry, Esperant, Etherwings, Everyking, Evil Monkey, Ezeu, Ezzi386,
FT2, Fajfajfaj, Fennec, Filthybutter, Finalnight, Firebug, Flanoverseas, Flockmeal, Focomoso, Fortybelow, Fr. Rednex, Freakofnurture, Frungi, Furrykef, Futurebird, Fvw, Gaius Cornelius,
Galorr, Gamaliel, Garkeith, Gator1, George100, Ginadumas, Giraffedata, Godfrey Daniel, Goldintheair, Goodandevil, Gospelnetics, Gr8opinionater, Grakk, Gravitan, Gregory dj, Grey Wanderer,
GunBooster, Guslacerda, Gwernol, Gyrofrog, H3xx, HJ Mitchell, HTML2011, Hadal, Hairy Dude, Halaqah, Hamlet of Hartford, Hawkinbj, Hefaistos, Herostratus, Hgrosser, Hhielscher,
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InverseHypercube, Invocations for Kwanzaa, IrishPete, J.delanoy, JDspeeder1, JForget, JHMM13, JW1805, Jachin, Jarble, JarlaxleArtemis, Jauhienij, Jaw959, Jaxl, Jaydec, Jayjg, Jbamb, Jeandré
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Lilj305, Long Cat Is Loooong, Lostsurfin12, Lotje, Luke49inf, Lumos3, Lupitaº, MadKingChucky, Madchester, Magioladitis, Malik Shabazz, Malo, Manofthesea, MarcoVD, Marek69,
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Midnightblueowl, Mike D 26, Mike Rosoft, MistrX, Misza13, Mjchonoles, Mm40, Moreschi, MosheA, Mother's Truck Shop, Mr. Billion, Mr. Comodor, Mr.Atoz, Mrdectol, Ms2ger,
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NinjaCharlie, Nishkid64, Nitrammit, Nivk12, No Guru, Norsktrad, Nummer29, Nuujinn, OOODDD, Oaktree b, Ode2joy, OlEnglish, Oneironaut420, Ordinary Person, OwenX, Oxymoron83,
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PietVA, Pigman, Piledhigheranddeeper, Pmandassoc, PolPass, Pollinator, Potatoes9000, Prodego, Professor slats, Project2501a, Puffman311, Pádraic MacUidhir, Queen krackhead, Quite98,
RG2, Radagast, Radicalsubversiv, Radioactivejosh, Ral315, Ramsquire, Rboatright, Reach Out to the Truth, Regent of the Seatopians, Reinyday, Rich Farmbrough, Richard Arthur Norton (1958), Richardcavell, Right Brain, Rjanag, Rjwilmsi, Robbie098, Rodhullandemu, Ronabop, RoyBoy, Rufustfirefly, Ruy Pugliesi, SCZenz, SM, Saint-Paddy, Sallicio, Sam Pointon, Sam1930,
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Spel-Punc-Gram, Splash, Spookfish, Srleffler, Ste1n, Ste281, Steve2011, Steven Evens, Stevenrasnick, Suffusion of Yellow, Sundae2Sundae, Superdorkman, Superm401, Surfgeorge, Sven
Manguard, Symmetric, TBustah, TYelliot, Tad Lincoln, Takethemud, Tamajared, Tbhotch, Techman224, Ted87, Tedickey, ThatSaved, TheKaplan, Theartizst, Thesilence, Thingg,
ThinksSheKnowsEverything, Throwacoup,, Tilman, Tiptoety, Titoxd, Tom NM, Tom harrison, TomCat4680, Topbanana, Torst, Traxs7, Tregoweth, Trivialist, Trueblue74,
Ttony21, TurtleTurtle, Tznkai, Ubardak, Uduakjoe, Ufwuct, Ukexpat, Uswarhorse3, Utcursch, Vanished User 1004, Veemonkamiya, VerticalDrop, Vice regent, Visviva, Vladislav Pogorelov,
VodkaMartini, Vrenator, Vzbs34, Wafflelover2611, Warofdreams, Watcher, West.andrew.g, Wetman, Whiskey Rebellion, Wik, WikHead, Wiki alf, WikiXan, Wikipelli, Will Beback, Willie the
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Maulana Karenga Source: Contributors: 172, Abce2, Aboutmovies, Acornwebworks, Adrian, Alfadog, Anders.Warga, Angiex3-2,
Apavlo, Argyriou, B, BGOATDoughnut, BTChicago, Badagnani, Barticus88, Betterusername, Bfinn, Bigtimepeace, Bobo192, Bosoxrock88, Bronze5150, Buttonbanger, CanisRufus, Captain
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Slowman1, TBustah, Teilolondon, Teknolyze, Terrypin, Toussaint, Ucgajhe, Woohookitty, 22 anonymous edits
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
File:Kwanza-RonKarenga.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: DanielPenfield, Enderandpeter
File:Kwanzaa-Myers.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: Butko, Kenmayer, Kersti Nebelsiek, Mattes, PMG,
Pharos, TFCforever
File:KwanzaaStamp.gif Source: License: unknown Contributors: Regent of the Seatopians
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