Pres. Obama Releases Statement on Kwanzaa
African American holiday tradition began Wednesday and ends Jan. 1
As President Barack Obama prepared to return to Washington from his short holiday vacation in Hawaii, the White House on Wednesday evening released a statement marking the start of Kwanzaa, an African American holiday celebration.
Here’s the statement in full:
Michelle and I extend our warm thoughts and best wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the first day of the week-long celebration of African-American history and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
To many, Kwanzaa serves as a time of reflection--taking lessons learned from our past and looking forward to a more promising tomorrow. It reminds us that though there is much to be thankful for we must recommit ourselves to building a country where all Americans have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
As families across America light the Kinara today in the spirit of unity, our family extends our prayers and well wishes during this season.
While it’s unclear whether the Obamas will themselves light a kinara this Kwanzaa, the black holiday tradition sprouted up in America in 1966. It includes observance of several principles that promote and preserve Black Americans’ roots in African culture. This year, Kwanzaa celebrations end on Jan. 1.