Kwanzaa was created by M. Ron Karenga in 1966 in order to " ... give blacks an alternative to the existing holiday [of Christmas] and give blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."
Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles for seven days from December 26th through January 1st, including: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
The celebration features a candleholder known as the "Kinara" which was apparently based on a Jewish Menorah with two holes "plugged up"... of course some people consider this to be an act of "cultural appropriation."
Karenga says that Kwanzaa was not intended to replace a religious holiday.
But the creation of a new African-inspired holiday underscored Karenga's central premise that "you must have a cultural revolution before the violent revolution. The cultural revolution gives identity, purpose, and direction."
According to Chante Griffin, "Kwanzaa was attractive partly because it was FUBU — For Us, By Us, a cultural celebration that was distinctly ours, untainted by white supremacy."
Yet the goals of Kwanzaa included increasing racial division and reducing reliance on religion, also common goals of communism.
Shortly after Karenga started the holiday, he went to prison (1971 - 1975) for ordering the brutal physical abuse and beating of two black women.
The women, who were members of Karenga's black nationalist group, said they were whipped with cords, beaten with batons, and seared with irons — all while naked — because Karenga thought they were conspiring to poison him.
After his release from jail, Karenga reportedly experienced a reawakening, and announced that he had officially switched his ideological focus to Marxism in 1975.
The Washington Post wrote about an appearance Karenga subsequently made in 1978 at Howard University's National Conference of Afro-American Writers.
While there, he spoke about the origins of Kwanzaa as follows:
"People think it's African. But it's not. I wanted to give black people a holiday of their own. So I came up with Kwanzaa. I said it was African because you know black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods (blacks) would be partying!"
That's the real origin of Kwanzaa, according to the founder himself.