“I have seen people around the world embrace my philosophy and principles, involving themselves in a cultural institution that my organization and I created. That’s something.”

Maulana Karenga, professor, author and creator of Kwanzaa. Born Ronald Everett on July 14, 1941, Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the world’s first Pan-African holiday. He’s currently chair of the African Studies department at California State University.