Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) continues to celebrate Kwanzaa, which honors the values and beliefs around African American heritage, by dedicating a new Kwanzaa stamp on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
“This new Kwanzaa stamp captures the essence of the African American cultural celebration. The stamp depicts the profile of a reflective woman with a kinara, or a candleholder, with seven lit candles in front of her,” said USPS Regional Processing Operations Eastern Vice President Dane Coleman, the dedicating official. “The stamp, which was hand-sketched and digitally colored, evokes a sense of inner peace with its cool tones and vibrant design elements to give a festive feel to the celebration of Kwanzaa.”
The stamp is available nationwide. A virtual dedication ceremony is posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The event includes remarks from Coleman and Linda Hazel Humes, adjunct assistant professor, Africana Studies Department, John Jay College; and music by Sanga of the Valley.
Kwanzaa takes place over seven days annually from December 26 to January 1, bringing family, community and culture together for many.
Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family throughout Kwanzaa week to honor the Pan-African holiday’s seven founding principles— unity (umoja); self-determination (kujichagulia); collective work and responsibility (ujima); cooperative economics (ujamaa); purpose (nia); creativity (kuumba); and faith (imani). Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of these seven principles, collectively known as the Nguzo Saba.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966, drawing on a variety of African traditions, deriving its name from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits.” Kwanzaa is a festive time for rejoicing in the prospect of health, prosperity and good luck in the coming year. It is also a time for contemplation and recollection of past hardships, faced by individuals and communities, and the ways history can inform and impact future happiness.
Art director Antonio Alcala designed the stamp, and Andrea Pippins was the illustrator.
The Kwanzaa stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp in a pane of 20. Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
A pictorial postmark of the first-day-of- issue location, Nashville, TN, is available at usps.com/stamps. Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.