A weeklong, cultural celebration honouring African-American culture and heritage, Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor and department chair at California State University, Long Beach.
President Donald Trump's first White House statement honoring Kwanzaa left out language celebrating African-American culture that had become a staple of former President Barack Obama's comments about the holiday. Just days after Christmas, Trump tweeted out a link to an article from a right-wing blog blasting Obama for releasing a Kwanzaa statement.
Those who celebrate Kwanzaa light black, green and red candles, representing seven principles. The holiday is marked by 7 days of candle lighting to celebrate the 7 principles of the holiday, which CNN notes are "unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), goal (nia), creativity (kuumba) and faith (imani)". "And in the spirit of the season, we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children".
Trump also sent a Christmas statement to Americans via a video.
Trump follows in the tradition of his predecessors, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, who each issued a statement to mark the start of Kwanzaa, which begins each year on December 26 and ends on January 1.
It's a message he has used to combat what he sees as rampant political correctness.