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10 Things You Didn't Know About Kwanzaa


1. Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration of African heritage and culture in the African-American community in the United States that is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

2. Maulana Karenga, an activist and professor and chairman of black studies at California State University—Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. Karenga was motivated to create the holiday by a want to create stronger community between African-Americans in the wake of the police and community-based racial tensions in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts neighborhood riots in Los Angeles.

3. Kwanzaa is a nonreligous holiday that is modeled after a number African harvest celebrations, and its name is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits" in Swahi. Full Story

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