A new African American heritage stamp that pays tribute to the annual celebration of Kwanzaa has been released by the U.S. Postal Service.

The Kwanzaa stamp, designed by art director Antonio Alcala and illustrated by Andrea Pippins, is part of the Postal Service’s Forever stamp compilations.

The stamp, which is part of the USPS’ Forever collection, depicts a reflective woman with seven lit candles in front of her, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

“This new Kwanzaa stamp captures the essence of the African American cultural celebration,” said USPS Eastern Vice President Dane Coleman. “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 event, created in 1966, brings family, community and culture together and focuses on the founding principles of unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba) and faith (imani).

A virtual dedication ceremony will be posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages, marking the seven days Kwanzaa takes place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

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.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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