http://www.dartreview.com/archives/2001/01/15/the_story_of_kwaanza.php The Story of Kwaanza By J. Lawrence Scholer | Monday, January 15, 2001 EXCERPT The founder of Kwanzaa, Ron Everett, a.k.a. Maulana Ron Karenga, stood at the forefront of the black power movement in the 1960s. Karenga distinguished himself as a ‘cultural nationalist’ as opposed to a traditional Marxist. In 1965 Karenga founded the United Slaves Organization (US), a group that would rival the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus. The US was more radical than the Panthers, setting off quarrels between the two. SNIP ...On September 17, 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. The charges stemmed from a May 9, 1970 incident in which Karenga and two others tortured two women who Karenga believed had tried to kill him by placing ‘crystals’ in his food and water. A year later the Los Angeles Times described the events: ‘Deborah Jones, who once was given the title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vice. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.’ SNIP James Coleman, a former Black Panther, argues, ‘By only stressing the unity of black people, Kwanzaa separates black people from the rest of Americans. Americans must unify on whatever principles ensure we live in a safe, prosperous, God-loving country, with the race and ethnicity of any American seeking to abide by those principles being of no consequence.’ And the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson says "This is not a celebration of African harvest; it is a political statement for the establishment of a black nation and racial hatred against whites." NOTE: Kwanza Pledge of Allegiance "We pledge allegiance to the red, black, and green, our flag, the symbol of our eternal struggle, and to the land we must obtain; one nation of black people, with one G-d of us all, totally united in the struggle, for black love, black freedom, and black self-determination."