A Black Patriot and Kwanzaa Creator

Maulana Karenga can be described as innovative and dedicated to the support of Black Culture.


Camille Jones, MHS Media Editor

Ronald Everett embraced his Black pride after he met Malcolm X and joined the Black Power Movement after the Watts Riots of 1965.

The Black Power movement supported black separatism. It became a prominent movement during the Civil Rights Movement.

Everett decided to change his name to Maulana Karenga during the time of the riots as Maulana was Swahili for “master teacher.”

In 1965 Maulana and Hakim Jamal founded the United Slaves Organization (US). This organization played a key role in the Black Power Movement and Black Culture. The US had allies including different activists and organizations that came together to advance African American culture.

Shortly after the deadly Watts Riots, he created the holiday Kwanzaa.  This day gives African American families the opportunities to celebrate their culture and remember the past. The first time it was celebrated was on December 26,1966 in California.

Karenga has done much since he co-hosted a conference in 1984 which led to the formation of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations. He became the chairman of the Africana Studies department of California State University in 1989.

Maulana praised many African Americans for their black empowerment, one of those people being Khalid Abdul Muhammad. Khalid was the chairman of the Black Panther Party until he died in 2001. Karenga gave him praise for all his dedication during his funeral.

Maulana is now a professor of Africana Studies at California State University. He holds 2 Ph.D.’s with his first in political science and the second in social ethics.

He has written 17 monographs and books, co-edited 4, and wrote over 650 columns.

Maulana left an everlasting impact on Black Culture that began in the 1960’s that is still present to this day.