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Those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect on the legacy and work that illustrated the life of Queen Mother Makinya Kouate. After Maulana Karenga gave the students from Merritt College a mimeographed sheet with notes about a harvest festival called Kwanzaa, the Oakland-Berkeley team started hosting community Kwanzaas in their homes. Later Sister Makinya would travel to Africa and learn more about harvest festivals
Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate (July 1, 1926-Feb. 4, 2017), named Queen Mother of Kwanzaa in 2015, hosted one of the first Bay Area Kwanzaas in her home, then took it across the world to 36 American states and 13 African nations, plus Europe and Mexico. She taught every grade from pre-school to post-graduate, wrote for the California Voice, hosted a show on KPFA for a decade, and performed as a pianist and dancer. A small ceremony will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m., in the Evergreen Mortuary chapel, 6450 Camden St. in Oakland.
Robert Chrisman and the internationally acclaimed The Black Scholar journal (TBS) are principle beacons of achievement and hope within the movement to create Black Studies departments and ultimately Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies departments. Chrisman and The Black Scholar occupied the vanguard of the struggle for recognition of Black Studies as a serious academic endeavor.
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
Habari gani, everyone! Happy Kwanzaa! Here are all the Kwanzaa celebrations we’ve been notified of; if you don’t find one near you, host one yourself and tell us about it so we can add it to the list. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday based on the African agricultural celebrations and collective principles, which contribute to the unity and development of the African community.