Kwanzaa creator Maulana Karenga to speak at Fresno State Dec. 8

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Kwanzaa creator Maulana Karenga to speak at Fresno State Dec. 8

Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach and director of the Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies in Los Angeles, will speak during a Pre-Kwanzaa celebration Wednesday, Dec. 8 at California State University Fresno.

The Pre-Kwanzaa celebration, hosted by the Fresno State African Student Union, will take place in the Satellite Student Union (2485. E San Ramon Ave.) from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Admission is free.

Associated Students, Africana Students United and the department of Africana and American Indian Studies serve as event sponsors.

A champion of ‘Kawaida’, a Swahili term translated to mean the best of African thought and practice, Karenga will address “Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles: Creating and Practicing Good in the World.”

Karenga is considered to be the creator of Kwanzaa, which is an African- American and Pan-African holiday, said spokesperson Elizabeth Leffall, an officer for Africana Students United, who also added that Kwanzaa is celebrated across the globe in Africa, the United States, Brazil, Britain and the Caribbean.

“This holiday was created to help strengthen and restore some of the values and foundational concepts of the African culture as well as to celebrate the wealth of family and the sense of community,” she said. “The idea of Kwanzaa is built around seven principles which Karenga will discuss. They include unity, self-determination, creative work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose and faith.”

Celebrated from December 26 to January 1, Kwanzaa was modeled after the ‘first fruits’ celebrations of Africa, dating back to ancient Egypt, Nubia and other classical African civilizations.

Karenga holds two Ph.D.’s; one in political science from the United States International University, and the other in social ethics, focusing on classical African ethics of ancient Egypt, from the University of Southern California.

He is also the author of twelve books including; Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, and Introduction to Black Studies, a textbook used in Black Studies courses across the nation.

The African Student Union at Fresno State was established in October, 1988 to provide African-American students a collective voice on campus, provides academic survival, while promoting cultural, social, political awareness and involvement.

For more information, call the department of Africana and American Indian Studies at (559) 278-4423.