Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

In Memoriam: Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

In Memoriam: Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate

Article excerpt

Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate popularize the holiday of Kwanzaa in northern California (Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, East Palo Alto), and around the world as she traveled to thirty-six states in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and to thirteen African nations sharing her knowledge about the holiday (inspired by Maulana Karenga) which began or her in 1967 with the encouragement of Fred T. Smith when she created and organized a seven-day in celebration of the 'first fruits of the harvest' in southwest Berkeley, California. She joined the ancestors February 4, 2017 at the age of 90. She was a dynamic person (leader, teacher, mentor), she taught piano at age 13, she performed with a 24 Grand Piano Ensemble for the 1939-1940 World's Fair at Treasure Island (an artificial island in San Francisco Bay, located between San Francisco and Oakland connected by an isthmus to Yerba Buena Island, which is a natural island) , at 16 having studied aerodynamics, she enlisted in WWII, "bringing airplanes in on a beam", thus, she one of the first air traffic controllers stationed in Alameda, California. Married in 1946 at 19, she and her husband were avid golfers. In the 1950s, under the tutelage of Barney Hillburn, first Black director of HUD, she became the first woman manager of a 527-unit housing project. She was a social reporter for California Voice, the oldest Black newspaper in California. In 1965, she attended Merritt College, studying business administration and real estate. …

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