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10/31/2005

Founder of Kwanzaa to Lead Winthrop's Event on Nov. 29

Quick Facts

 Maulana Karenga is an activist and scholar of national and international recognition because of his role in recent African-American history, politics and intellectual culture since the 1960s.
 Founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Winthrop students are normally on holiday break then so the university celebrates Kwanzaa in late November.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Maulana Karenga, the creator of the American holiday Kwanzaa and its seven principles, will lead Winthrop’s celebration on Nov. 29.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a reception in McBryde Hall. Karenga will speak to participants at 7 p.m. in Tillman Auditorium, followed by a book signing in the lobby outside the auditorium.

Karenga is an activist and scholar of national and international recognition because of his role in recent African-American history, politics and intellectual culture since the 1960s. Along with his group, Organization Us, he has played a major role in movements such as Black Power, Black Arts, Afrocentricity, the Million Person Marches and currently the Reparations Movement.

Karenga is a professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University in Long Beach. He also is chair of the President’s Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity at California State University and is an author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including one on Kwanzaa. He holds two doctoral degrees, one in political science and one in social ethics.

Founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Winthrop students are normally on holiday break then, so the university celebrates Kwanzaa in late November.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili word "Kwanza," which means first and comes from the saying "Matunda Ya Kwanza" or first fruits. It is based on seven principles:unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The non-religious holiday marks a time when an entire community joins to give thanks for life, crops and each other.

During Winthrop’s Kwanzaa celebration on Nov. 29, vendors will have booths in the Dinkins Student Center lobby from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, contact Chad Kee, program director of the Office of Multicultural Student Life, at 803/323-4524 or keec@winthrop.edu.


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