The Ethnic Studies Department and Umoja will co-host a Kwanzaa celebration on Friday, December 8 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wilshire Auditorium. The event is free and will feature guest speaker and Kwanzaa founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga as well as a variety of cultural performances. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration which honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1.
Dr. Karenga is professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Cal State Long Beach, activist, author, and is best known as the creator of the pan-African and African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. Karenga has had a far-reaching effect on Black intellectual and political culture since the 1960s for which he has received numerous awards.
Through his organizational and intellectual work, and his philosophy, Kawaida, he has played a vanguard role in shaping the Black Arts Movement, Black Studies, the Black Power Movement, the Black Student Union Movement, Afrocentricity, ancient Egyptian studies and the study of ancient Egyptian culture as an essential part of Black Studies, Ifa ethical studies, rites of passage programs, the Independent Black School Movement, African life-cycle ceremonies, the Simba Wachanga Youth Movement, Black theological and ethical discourse, Black united fronts and the Reparations Movement.
The event will also feature a special performance by KIPP’s Academy of Opportunity Youth Drumline and performances by Fullerton College students. A pre-event reception will offer free food and drinks. Fullerton College professor, Ernest Bridges will also conduct the official Kwanzaa ceremony.
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