Maulana Karenga (born July 14, 1941), also known as Ron Everett, is an African-American author and Marxist political activist, best known as the founder of Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration first observed in California from December 26, 1966 to January 1, 1967. Karenga is sometimes referred to by the title "Maulana", which means "master teacher" in Swahili.
Karenga created the United Slaves, a Black Nationalist organization in 1965, and in 1971 was convicted of felony assault of two of the group's female members, for which he spent time in prison. After his release in 1975, he resumed his academic studies, later becoming chairman of the black studies department at California State University, Long Beach, a position he held from 1989 to 2002.
He is also known for having co-hosted, in 1984, a conference that gave rise to the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and in 1995, he sat on the organizing committee and authored the mission statement of the Million Man March. He is the director of the Kawaida Institute for Pan African Studies, and the author of several books, including his Introduction to Black Studies, a comprehensive black-studies textbook, now in its third edition.