Newest Kwanzaa stamp honors Black women

Black women are the focus of this year’s U.S. Postal Service stamp recognizing Kwanzaa, the annual commemoration of Black culture. Each year, the stamp agency dedicates a new Kwanzaa stamp recognizing the beauty and grace of Black life.

Photo: U.S. Postal Service

This year’s stamp includes an image of a Black woman with blue hair in front of a kinara, the seven-candle holder used in recognition of the holiday’s “Seven Principles of Kwanzaa” — each offered as recommendations for a positive way of life. The stamp was illustrated by Andrea Pippins, a Black artist. 

“This new Kwanzaa stamp captures the essence of the African American cultural celebration,” said Dane Coleman, U.S.P.S. regional processing operations eastern vice president. “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,” Coleman added.

The celebration is based on seven principles called the Nguzo Saba – or seven pillars in the Swahili language – with one celebrated each day. The seven principles, presented in the Swahili language, are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). The principles are offered in Swahili.

The first Kwanzaa stamp was issued in 1997 and there have been six designs since.

The latest version is being issued as a Forever stamp in a pane of 20. It is available for purchase at starting at $11.60.

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