Kwanzaa: An African-American cultural celebration

JASMIN K. WILLIAMS Amsterdam News Staff | 6/20/2013, 12:47 p.m.

Kwanzaa celebrates our heritage and inspires us to face the challenges of the New Year.

About Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga is one of the world's most highly respected senior scholars in Black and Africana studies and is a professor of Africana studies. He is also chair of the President's Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity at California State University in Long Beach. He is best known as the creator of Kwanzaa and lectures frequently on its value and importance. Kwanzaa is celebrated throughout the world.


  • Look it up: Use the Internet or other reference source to learn more about Kwanzaa. Ask elders in your family or neighborhood about the celebration.
  • Talk About It: Plan a celebration in your classroom or home or make plans to attend celebrations in your community. Discuss the principals of Kwanzaa and how you can practice them in your daily life throughout the upcoming year. Why are they important?
  • Write it Down: If you plan to celebrate, keep a journal of your activities. Share your journal with your classmates.

This Week in Black History

  • Dec. 20, 1875: Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month, was born on this day in New Canton, Va.
  • Dec. 20, 1860: South Carolina becomes the first of 11 states to secede from the Union, starting a chain of events that would lead to the Civil War.
  • Dec. 23, 1867: Sarah Breedlove, who became known as Madame C.J. Walker, the first female millionaire in the U.S., was born in Delta, La.