Just because Kwanzaa was made up by a racist black nationalist who was convicted of torturing two women who were part of his group “United Slaves,” because he thought they were hiding nonexistent “crystals” of poison meant to kill him, doesn’t mean it’s not a legitimate holiday, right? Or how about the fact that actual Africans have never heard of Kwanzaa? I could go on and on but I’m preaching to the choir.

Statement by the President and First Lady on Kwanzaa — WhiteHouse.gov

Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past year and our aspirations for the year to come. And even as there is much to be thankful for, we know that there are still too many Americans going through enormous challenges and trying to make ends meet. But we also know that in the spirit of unity, or Umoja, we can overcome those challenges together.

As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

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