Dr. Maulana Karenga is professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He holds two Ph.D.'s; his first in political science with focus on the theory and practice of nationalism (United States International University) and his second in social ethics with a focus on the classical African ethics of ancient Egypt (University of Southern California). Professor Karenga is the foremost exponent of Maatian ethical thought, having developed over the last three decades, a creative and scholarly Kawaida interpretation of ancient Egyptian ethical thought as a living tradition and a useful philosophical option for critical reflection on the urgent issues of our time. His second dissertation, a major work of 803-pages titled Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics, and submitted in 1996, was the most requested work from UMI out of 45,000 dissertations and theses worldwide of that year. Published as a book in 2002, it has received praise from the Africana Studies and Egyptological communities as a seminal and defining work which has opened up a valuable new dialog with ancient Egyptian thought and culture.
An activist-scholar of national and international recognition, Dr. Karenga has had a far-reaching effect on Black intellectual and political culture since the 1960s. Through his organizational and intellectual work, and his philosophy, Kawaida, he has played a vanguard role in shaping the Black Arts Movement, Black Studies, the Black Power Movement, the Black Student Union Movement, Afrocentricity, ancient Egyptian studies and the study of ancient Egyptian culture as an essential part of Black Studies, Ifa ethical studies, rites of passage programs, the Independent Black School Movement, African life-cycle ceremonies, the Simba Wachanga Youth Movement, Black theological and ethical discourse, and the Reparations Movement.
Moreover, he is the executive director of the Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies, Los Angeles, and national chairman of The Organization Us, a cultural and social change organization, so named to stress the communitarian focus of the organization. Dr. Karenga has also played a key role in national united front efforts, serving on the founding and executive committee of the Black Power Conferences of the 60's, the National Black United Front, the National African American Leadership Summit, the Black Leadership Retreat, the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO), and on the executive council of the national organizing committee of the Million Man March/Day of Absence, as well as authored the Mission Statement for this joint project.
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