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Culture Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message – 2019

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Living Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles: An All-Seasons Celebration and Practice of the Good. By Dr. Maulana Karenga — Each year Kwanzaa provides us with a special and unique time to see and celebrate ourselves as African people in beautiful, uplifting and liberating ways. But it also offers us a set of principles which, if practiced throughout the year, ensure that Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, are…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Righteous Reflection On Being African: A Kwanzaa Meditation

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga — Kwanzaa is a time of celebration, remembrance, reflection and recommitment. It requires these practices throughout the holiday. But the last day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to deep reflection, meditation on the meaning and measure of being African and how this is understood and asserted for good in the world in essential, uplifting and transformative ways. During this Kwanzaa, as always and as our ancestors centuries before…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Symbols and Insights of Kwanzaa: Deep Meanings and Expansive Message

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga — Each year the coming of Kwanzaa causes us to come together in celebration, remembrance, reflection and recommitment. And it also urges us to constantly study and learn the deep meanings and expansive message of Kwanzaa, not only in its grounding philosophy, Kawaida, and its core Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba), but also in its symbols. This article again invites us to do this.  Kwanzaa was conceived as…

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The Apollo Theater

HBO’s The Apollo: ‘The story of how black America lifted itself through music’

By Editors' Choice

The director Roger Ross Williams on the Harlem ‘temple’ that has hosted legendary performers from James Brown to Lauryn Hill. By André Wheeler, The Guardian — The Apollo Theater is a living piece of black history. Located in the heart of Harlem on West 125th Street, the theater has operated as a refuge for black audiences and performers from its opening in 1934. Artists from James Brown and Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill have graced…

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A circa 1830 illustration of a slave auction in America.

An Early Case For Reparations

By Reparations

Two new books tell the stories of people kidnapped and sold into slavery. One of them sued successfully. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — When we think about slavery, we tend to imagine freedom as its natural opposite. But this makes it difficult to comprehend the actual conditions under which un-enslaved African Americans actually lived before and even long after the Civil War. For the 12 percent of African…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

“The Water Dancer” comes out of a powerful examination of the legacies of slavery today. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — Eight years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in The Atlantic asking why so few black people studied the Civil War. Coates noted that he himself had only recently become an avid reader of Civil War history, and along with it, a student of the larger system that propelled it into…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Africa, Our Moral Ideal: Radical Reasoning About Ourselves and Our Culture

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — On this the 54th anniversary of our coming into being, September 7, 1965, as the organization Us, we look back on the long, difficult, dangerous and demanding road we’ve travelled. It is a journey of liberation in thought and practice that began with radical reasoning about ourselves and our culture. It involved rightfully raising Africa as our moral ideal, setting ourselves at the center of…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Us Reminiscing at Half Century and Four: The Architecture of Our Work and Will

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — On this our 54th anniversary, I remember and raise up the momentous marking of our 50th anniversary. I said then and reaffirm now with four added years this. September 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our organization Us, the introduction of the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and Kawaida philosophy), and the establishment of the African American Cultural Center….

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Antigua and Barbuda Culture Minister Daryll Matthew accepts the Carifesta baton from T&T Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

A Cultural Supernova: Carifesta XIV hailed as a success

By News & Current Affairs

Carifesta XIV has been hailed as a success. By Laura Dowrich-Phillips, Loop — Speaking at the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday night, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Doll, Acting Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Colm Imbert, and Assistant General Secretary of Caricom Douglas Slater lauded the organisers for a successful festival. In her address, Dr Gadsby-Dolly described the festival…

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A study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that coastal cities had the largest number of neighborhoods that were gentrified from 2000 to 2013.

D.C. has the highest ‘intensity’ of gentrification of any U.S. city, study says

By Editors' Choice, Gentrification

More than 20,000 African American residents were displaced from low-income neighborhoods from 2000 to 2013, researchers say. By Katherine Shaver, Washington Post — About 40 percent of the District’s lower-income neighborhoods experienced gentrification between 2000 and 2013, giving the city the greatest “intensity of gentrification” of any in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The District also saw the most African American…

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