7 Facts About Dr. Maulana Karenga, Founder of Kwanzaa

Dr. Maulana Karenga

“The Nguzo Saba are the moral minimum value system Black people need in order to rescue and reconstruct their history and humanity, indeed their daily lives, in their own image and interests.”

1. Dr. Maulana Karenga was born Ronald McKinley Everett on a poultry farm in Parsonsburg, Maryland on July 14, 1941. He was the seventh son and fourteenth child of a baptist minister. Ronald Everette would eventally change his name 20 years later to Maulana Karenga which translates as “Master Teacher”.

2. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. His goal was to create the first African American holiday and in his own words:

“give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society”

The name Kwanzaa comes from a phrase of Swahili origin, “Matunda Ya Kwanza”, and translates as “First Fruits of the Harvest”. The holiday is actually based on African agricultural rites and communal activities. One of the holiday’s main goals is to cause those of African descent to look back to their cultural roots as a source of celebration.

3. Dr. Karenga has served on the Executive Committees of several Conferences, Events and Organizations dedicated to uplifting and educating African Americans. These include the the Black Leadership Retreat, Black Power Conferences of the 60’s, the National Black United Front, the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO), the National African American Leadership Summit, and the Million Man March/Day of Absence. He also authored the Million Man March’s mission statement and served from 1989 to 2002 as the Chairman of the Africana studies Department at California State University, Long Beach.

Young Maulana Karenga

Young Dr. Maulana Karenga

4. Maulana Karenga has been awarded two Doctorate degrees and one Honorary Doctorate degree. His first PH.D. in Political Science was awarded by Alliant International University in 1976 for a 170 page dissertation entitled Afro-American Nationalism: Social Strategy and Struggle for Community and his second PH.D in Social Ethicas was awarded by the University of Southern California in 1994 for an 803 page dissertation entitled “Maat, the Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics”. His Honorary Doctorate was received from the University of Durban in South Africa.

5. In 1965, Maulana Karenga and Malcom X’s cousin Hakim Jamal founded the Black Nationalist organization entitled US, as in “Us and Them”. This organization was committed to the cause of Black cultural unity. Eventually, due to a difference in vision for the organization, Hakim Jamal went on to found the Malcolm X Foundation, based primarily on the teachings and ideology of Malcolm X while Maulana Karenga continued to root US primarily in Pan-Africanism, African culture and African teachings.

Dr. Maulana Karenga and his wife, Tiamoro Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga and his wife, Tiamoro Karenga

6. Dr. Karenga has authored/published many books and articles during his lifetime including Introduction to Black Studies, which is currently in its fourth edition, Book of Coming Forth By Day, The Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt, Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle, Handbook of Black Studies, Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings, Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, and Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait.

7. Karenga has received numerous awards for his tireless work and commitment including the C.L.R. James Award for Outstanding Publication of Scholarly Works that Advance the Discipline of Africana and Black Studies, the National Leadership Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievements in Black Studies from the National Council for Black Studies, the President’s Award for Scholarship and Service in the Development of Black Studies, the Diop Exemplary Leadership Award from the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, the Richard Allen Living Legend Award from the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Pioneer Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Mccaughan/100001470497299 Jim Mccaughan

    JUST!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another disgiuse for RACISM!!!! STOP IT!!!! Don’t START IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • loveface101


  • RealityCheck

    Where’s the facts about him torturing women?

    • Secret20

      Why don’t you make your own website about him?

    • loveface101

      I agree with you

    • Malik Sekou Osei

      Hehehehe people are just looking for a celebrity and not the truth, the truth is not a concern for a lot of the Kwanzaa people. They celebrate the color of the clock, but never to understand and celebrate the “time.”

    • http://thegrio.com uhuruhouston

      That’s a good idea, why don’t you? You ignorant black bastard love to do massas work for him. A nigga will always take what their massa says an spread it like they were there!

  • Secert20

    I think it has very good facts about this man…

  • friends forever

    need a freind that knows what they are talking about

    • #:)loveurself

      i am that freind for u!

  • Wolf

    Left out the conviction and time served in prison for the assault and false inprisonment of a woman.

  • Skippy Mcbuggerballs

    You niggers are so desperate for an identity, it’s pathetic. Everything your race comes up with to justify your existence is shrouded in lies, violence and ignorance. Piss off back to your dung huts in africa where you belong. Ingrates.

  • flanneryoconnor

    He’s a Ni66er slime ball.

  • Just look it up.

    Wiki: Conviction for assault

    In 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment.[15] 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.”[16]

    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][17]

    Karenga denied any involvement in the torture, and argued that the prosecution was political in nature.[5][18] 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.[19]

    Karenga has declined to discuss the convictions with reporters and does not mention them in biographical materials.[17] During a 2007 appearance at Wabash College he again denied the charges and described himself as a former political prisoner.[20] The convictions nonetheless continue to generate controversy during Kwanzaa celebrations.[17]



  • Jeff

    I’m all for abolishing Maulana Karenga’s manufactured holiday, as well as Columbus Day, especially the latter as it’s a federal holiday (taxpayer $$).

    • Ricky Ngoni Chisaira

      Oh silly me, i thought all holidays were made up, i now understand some are naturally occurring

  • timmy hay

    I love this man
    this is a lil girl he rape me…

  • Mainlander
  • Mainlander