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Message on the Observance of Kwanzaa, 1996

December 11, 1996

Warm greetings to everyone celebrating Kwanzaa.

The hearts of millions of men and women across America and around the world rejoice as together we enter into the spirit of this uplifting holiday. The seven principles of Kwanzaa— unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith—teach us that when we come together to strengthen our families and communities and honor the lessons of the past, we can face the future with joy and optimism. Through prayer, song, and the exchange of gifts, Kwanzaa helps us celebrate the human experience and appreciate our many blessings.

Today, we have a renewed sense of hope in America, a hope based on the idea that our great diversity can unite—not divide—our society. As we rejoice in the rich cultural heritage of the African American community during Kwanzaa, let us work together to ensure that the meaning and energy of this inspiring festival will remain with us throughout the coming year, bringing courage, renewal, and even greater hope for the future.

Hillary joins me in sending best wishes for a wonderful holiday and every happiness in the year ahead.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Kwanzaa, 1996 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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