Bill Clinton photo

Message on the Observance of Kwanzaa, 1999

December 22, 1999

Warm greetings to everyone celebrating Kwanzaa.

With roots in the ancient history and cultural traditions of Africa and celebrating such fundamental American values as unity and self-determination, this joyous annual festival reflects the diversity that gives our nation much of its strength and resilience. Each year during Kwanzaa, millions of African Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate their rich heritage, to reaffirm the bonds of family and community, and to give thanks to our Creator for the beauty and bounty of life.

As we look forward to the new millennium, we must not lose sight of the values and traditions that have strengthened and sustained us in the past. The seven principles of Kwanzaa— unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith—can be invaluable tools in teaching us how to live together in the 21st century as a community, in harmony with one another and our environment and in humility before God.

Hillary joins me in extending warmest wishes for a joyous Kwanzaa and every happiness in the coming year.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Kwanzaa, 1999 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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