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Kwanzaa kicks off with local parade, festival

A parade along Crenshaw Boulevard marked the start of the seven-day African-American festival of Kwanzaa on Monday.

December 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A parade along Crenshaw Boulevard began at noon to mark the start of the seven-day African-American festival of Kwanzaa on Monday.

The theme of the 35th annual Kwanzaa Parade and Festival will be "A New Paradigm," according to parade organizers.

The parade began at the corner of Crenshaw and Adams boulevards, and then headed south along Crenshaw to Leimert Park, where a festival followed.

The festival was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga in what he called "an audacious act of self-determination." Karenga now chairs the department of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Kwanzaa focuses on seven principles including unity, purpose and faith. African foods such as millet, spiced pepper balls and rice are often served.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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