MAKING THE PAST MEANINGFUL: Kwanzaa and the Concept of Sankofa


  • Maulana Karenga Professor and chair, Department of Black Studies, California State University


The African American holiday of Kwanzaa has become an important cultural practice among millions of African American peoples throughout world African community. This is a narrative of the process of conceptualizing and institutionalizing Kwanzaa, its emergence in the thrust toward re-Africanization during the Black Power Movement of the 60's, its relationship to the Black liberation struggle, the development and meaning of its symbols, and its communitarian vision and values as expressed in the core values of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Copyright of Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping is the property of Cleveland State University and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)




How to Cite

Karenga, M. (2014). MAKING THE PAST MEANINGFUL: Kwanzaa and the Concept of Sankofa. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 1(4), 36–46. Retrieved from



General Submissions