Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Barbara C. Wallace
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that was created by Maulana Karenga, an authority on African studies. It was first celebrated from December 26 through January 1, 1967, in Los Angeles, California, and Kwanzaa continues to be celebrated annually at that time of year as a Black holiday embraced by millions of African Americans. Kwanzaa was inspired by the agricultural African people who gathered and celebrated annually at harvest time, but it currently is designed to meet the needs of African Americans living in the United States. It makes a cultural and political statement, providing an alternative to Christmas and the associated commercialism and emphasis on expensive gift giving during that holiday season. Kwanzaa gives African Americans an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history ...