WASHINGTON – The United States Postal Service will commemorate Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural celebration, with a Forever stamp. The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place 12:30 p.m. Oct. 1 in Marion Square, Charleston, S.C., during the weekend opening of the MOJA Arts Festival.
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community and culture that’s observed Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Kwanzaa derives its name from the phrase “first fruits,” in Swahili and has its origins in first-harvest celebrations. Dec. 26, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of this celebrated holiday.
The colorful stamp art features an African-American woman holding a bowl that overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing abundance. She wears a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earring.
The image was made by Synthia Saint James, a Los Angeles artist who worked with art director Greg Breeding on the stamp design. Saint James, who plans to attend the dedication ceremony, designed the previous Kwanzaa stamp for the U.S. Postal Service. This is the sixth stamp design issued by USPS in celebration of Kwanzaa. The first Kwanzaa commemorative stamp was issued in 1997. New designs were also issued in 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
This Kwanzaa stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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