*President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent Kwanzaa greetings in a statement issued late Thursday:
“Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season.
“(Thursday) marks the beginning of the week-long celebration of African American culture through family activities and community festivities that bring attention to Kwanzaa’s seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
“Though each principle represents the essence of this holiday, they also represent the shared values that bind us as Americans.
“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.”