Creator of Kwanzaa to Present Lecture at SBVC
San Bernardino Valley College faculty and staff are energized awaiting distinguished scholar Dr. Maulana Karenga, the activist who spurred a global philosophy on how to rise above the struggle.
On Wednesday, February 27, Black History Month special guest lecturer Dr. Karenga will present his “Message and Mission in Black History: Forging a Future and World of Inclusive Good.”
In partnership with Black Faculty & Staff Association, and the SBVC Student Equity Committee, the event starts at 6:00 p.m. at the San Bernardino Valley College Auditorium located at 701 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. It is free and open to the entire community.
For those who follow his research, his visit serves as a refresher of the cultural holiday he created, the Seven Days of Kwanzaa.
For those yet unfamiliar with his widely practiced heritage celebration, the acclaimed speaker promises to shed more light on the far-reaching benefit of social change through the Pan African movement.
Ernest Guillen, library technical specialist and co-chairman of SBVC’s Arts, Lectures & Diversity Committee, said Dr. Karenga brings a long list of impressive credentials to draw from.
“A lot of students have already begun buzzing about having someone of his caliber on campus, and a lot of the faculty and staff are pretty excited,” he said.
Dr. Karenga holds two Ph.D’s, and is professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
During the civil unrest of the 1960’s, Dr. Karenga was instrumental in the creation of the Kwanzaa festival, the formation of Kawaida philosophy, and the principles of successful African American living.
There is also a great push to expand dialogue and coalition between Black and Brown communities on the SBVC campus, Guillen said, and the college administration has put a lot of effort to make the event happen. “We as a campus are always thrilled to have a fellow educator come and deliver the address to our community. Our community is really hurting to hear these messages,” he said.
And, he added, Black History events are not just for Black students. The event presents an opportunity to recognize the pivotal role that Black leadership has historically set in motion to support other movements, including women’s rights, gay rights, and the Latino movements.
He said that most social progress is rooted in the Black civil rights movement, and Black history month is everyone’s history month.
“You always think of Black History Month as only speaking to a certain constituency group. In reality, the civil rights movement that the Black community spearheaded has trickled down to all of these other communities,” he said.
In recognition of his distinguished research, he received the Paul Robeson-Zora Neale Hurston Award for Scholarly Work Significantly Contributive to the Understanding, Development and Appreciation of African World Culture, National Council for Black Studies.