December 26th 1966: First Kwanzaa

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A 2003 Kwanzaa celebration – Karenga is in the middle

On this day in 1966, the first Kwanzaa celebration took place. Kwanzaa is a holiday which is observed from December 26th to January 1st, and celebrates African-American culture. It was created by Maulana Karenga partly in response to a riot in a black neighborhood of Los Angeles which killed 34 and injured many more. Karenga wanted to “give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society”.

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Maulana Karenga

Best wishes to all of those celebrating Kwanzaa this year!

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