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Ron Karenga
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    (July 14, 1941- )
    Born in Parsonsburg, Maryland
    Birth name was Ron Everett
    Founded the Black Nationalist organization United Slaves (1965)
    Introduced the holiday of Kwanzaa (1967)
    Chair of the black studies program at the University of California, Long Beach (1989-2002)
    He and two associates were convicted of assault for torturing two women, Deborah Jones and Gail Davis, who he accused of poisoning him by putting 'crystals' in his food (September 17, 1971).
    The two women were beaten with a baton, whipped with electrical cords, burned with a soldering iron and had drain cleaner forced down their throats.
    After he was released from prison, he declared himself a Marxist (1975).
    Since Kwanzaa was not a traditional African holiday, it has been condemned as fraudulent.
    A year after introducing Kwanzaa, he called Jesus 'psychotic' and said that Christianity is a white religion that blacks should shun.
    He was the first black president of the student body at Los Angeles City College.
    His 'Introduction to Black Studies' became a standard textbook.
    He modified his religious stance, writing 'Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.' (1997)
    Similarly, he declared that Kwanzaa can be celebrated by people of any race, 'just like other people participate in Cinco de Mayo besides Mexicans.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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