'Let Us Celebrate' - Trump Rings In Kwanzaa

Marsha Scott
December 27, 2017

"The point for our community is to really reflect - certainly - come together, and then understand how we move forward", says Andrea Douglas, executive director of the African-American Heritage Center.

President Donald Trump released a statement Tuesday celebrating the African American holiday of Kwanzaa.

Though some people observe both Christmas and Kwanzaa, not all black people celebrate Kwanzaa and not all people who acknowledge Kwanzaa are black. They're hosting a community celebration for all ages on Saturday, Dec. 30 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Although Trump did mark the start of Kwanzaa via an official statement on Tuesday, he did not mention it on his Twitter, widely considered a more unvarnished, naked glimpse into what's on the president's mind than his official statements.

Happy Kwanzaa! The holiday, which celebrated its 50th anniversary previous year, kicks off December 26. Each day has a different theme, including self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

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Kwanzaa runs through January 1.

On the penultimate day, New Year's Eve, partakers celebrate with the Kwanzaa karamu, or feast, before exchanging gifts on the final day of the holiday, New Year's Day. Kwanzaa is the celebration of a culture, not a religion. The term Kwanzaa itself is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza", which means "first fruits" in Swahili.

On the first night, a child lights the black candle in the middle, and the family discusses the principle of unity.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration at the end of every year honoring African-American culture, and it includes a ritualistic lighting of a candle holder called a kinara.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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