Saturday, December 19, 2009
Obama will not be celebrating Kwanza-festivus
By MEGAN K. SCOTT | 12/18/09 11:41 AM EST
Kwanzaa, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, may be a mainstream holiday with greeting cards, postage stamps and public celebrations, but experts say its popularity is receding.
It will not be getting a boost from the first family. The Obamas do not personally celebrate Kwanzaa, according to White House aides, though a written message from the president is likely, in keeping with the practice of his most recent predecessors, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Although Kwanzaa started here, it has become a Pan-African holiday. The African American Cultural Center places the number of those who observe Kwanzaa worldwide at 30 million, but even that is a small fraction of the hundreds of millions of people of African descent all over the world.
Some blacks, though, have rejected the concept of Kwanzaa all along, considering it a pagan holiday and taking issue with its founder, a black nationalist and ex-con — he was convicted of torturing two women.