December 26th 1966: The first Kwanzaa is celebrated

(Karenga celebrating Kwanzaa in 2003)

On this day in 1966, the first Kwanzaa was celebrated by Maulana Karenga, chair of Black Studies at California State University. Kwanzaa has its roots in African culture, and celebrates African-American heritage around the world. It is observed from December 26th to January 1st. Observers will light a candle holder with 7 candles and celebrate with a feast and gift giving.

The celebration took place in Los Angeles a year after a deadly riot in the predominantly black neighbourhood of Watts, which left 34 dead and 1000 injured. Karenga was so disturbed by the events that he searched for a way to overcome the despair and therefore organised the first Kwanzaa celebration.

12/26/11 at 9:10pm
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