the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement from the President and the First Lady on Kwanzaa

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.