President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama send a special message to everyone celebrating Kwanzaa this year.
“As families and communities across our country come together today to light the Kinara, our family sends our hopes for a prosperous and healthy new year,” the POTUS said in a statement released by the White House.
December 26 marks the first day of the weeklong celebration of African heritage and African-American culture, which honors seven principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday (rather than a religious one ) that was established by Maulana Karenga in 1966. It is observed through January 1st, with each of the seven days dedicated to one principle.