Unaffiliated with any religion, Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture that was established as a way for African-Americans to reconnect with their roots and heritage.
Trump famously criticized his predecessor in 2011, tweeting the Obama had "issued a statement for Kwanzaa but failed to issue one for Christmas". Seven candles are lighted over the seven days of Kwanzaa and are symbolic of Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of African heritage.
Provided photo The kinara, a seven-branched candleholder, sits among several symbols of Kwanzaa, a weeklong African-American cultural and historical celebration that began on Tuesday.
Needless to say, the divide between how Trump viewed Kwanzaa back in 2011 ― using it to leverage false attacks against Obama, and tacitly endorsing the idea that it was a "fake holiday" ― and how he's acknowledging it now has stirred up some criticism. Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and lasts until January 1.
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Pronounced "kwahn-zuh", the term - which you can spell Kwanzaa or Kwanza - comes from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", which means "first fruits". Candles represent such principles as self-determination and collective responsibility.
Owen's notes that Kwanzaa's seven principles "are identical to the seven principles of the infamous Symbionese Liberation Army, the murderous, bank-robbing gang of revolutionary terrorists who kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in 1974".
Celebrations for Kwanzaa often include song and dance, African drums, storytelling and reading poetry, and a large traditional meal.
At the end of the first day, the black candle in the centre is lit, followed by the others on subsequent nights.