The U.S. Postal Service dedicated a new Kwanzaa stamp on Tuesday, sharing the Forever stamp with hashtag #KwanzaaStamps.
“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 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 was made available nationwide on Tuesday, with a virtual dedication ceremony posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The event included 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 Dec. 26 to Jan. 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.”
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.