The U.S. Postal Service continues to commemorate Kwanzaa, which celebrates values and beliefs around African-American heritage, by dedicating a new Kwanzaa Forever stamp. The ceremony took place at the African American Cultural Center at North Carolina State University (NC State) last week.
The public is invited to share the news using the hashtag #KwanzaaStamps.
“Kwanzaa successfully melds communal traditions into a contemporary celebration of African-American culture,” said U.S. Postal Service Executive Director of Government Relations and Public Policy Stephanie Childs. “The spirit of Kwanzaa is beautifully depicted in the vibrant artwork on this memorable stamp.”
Joining Childs in the ceremony were, from NC State: Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economics Kevin Howell; Assistant Dean Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs Blair Kelly, student Achaia Dent; and founding African American Culture Center Director Iyailu Moses, who is now the CEO of Educational Visions. Current NC State African American Cultural Center Director Moses T. Alexander Greene served as the master of ceremonies.
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 the focus of one of these seven principles, collectively known as the Nguzo Saba.
For some, a discussion about the role of that day’s principle in everyday life is an important part of observing the holiday. Children often receive gifts (zawadi), such as books and heritage symbols, from parents and loved ones to reaffirm the value of knowledge in many African cultures. Those present often share in a feast that honors their common heritage, celebrates community and reaffirms African-American culture.
Floyd Cooper was the artist and Derry Noyes served as the art director and designer.
The Kwanzaa stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in panes of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
Customers may purchase these stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.
Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shop under “Collectors.” A video of the ceremony will be available on the Postal Service’s Facebook page.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.