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Opinion: Barack and Michelle Obama hail Kwanzaa umoja

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President Obama’s statement marking Kwanzaa

Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today [Dec. 26] is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of African American culture and heritage.

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The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith -- are some of the very values that make us Americans.

As families across America and around the world light the Kinara today in the spirit of umoja, or unity, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

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