Showing posts with label USPS Black Heritage Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USPS Black Heritage Series. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

USPS Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Stamps

I know many of you collect stamps in the USPS Black Heritage series and try to stay up to date with new stamp releases. While you may know of the 2020 Gwen Ifill stamp issued before the pandemic you may not have heard of the Voices of the Harlem Renaissance stamps released in May of 2020.

Issued May 21 in a pane of 20, the nondenominated (55¢) forever stamps honor novelist Nella Larsen; bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg; poet Anne Spencer; and writer, philosopher, educator and arts advocate Alain Locke, who is known as the dean of the Harlem Renaissance.

“The stamps feature stylized pastel portraits of the honorees that incorporate African-inspired motifs as background elements,” according to the Postal Service. “The design elements reflect the increased interest in African culture, history, and aesthetics shown by the writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance.”

USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the new Voices of the Harlem Renaissance stamps.

The pane of 20 includes a decorative header which shows a cityscape in silhouette with a sun in its midst. Block lettering spells out the title of the issue, “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.”

The Voices of the Harlem Renaissance stamps will be sold only in full panes of 20 for $11 at post offices and online here:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Marvin Gaye, Gregory Hines honored with 2019 USPS stamps


Entertainment icons Marvin Gaye and Gregory Hines will soon be honored with Forever stamps, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced this week.

The late legends will be featured among new commemorative stamps issued in 2019, continuing a USPS tradition started in 1847 of celebrating people, events, and cultural milestones that are unique to U.S. history. Exact release dates for the stamps have yet to be announced.

“The miniature works of art illustrated in the 2019 stamp program offer something for everyone’s interest about American history and culture,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Executive Director Mary-Anne Penner.

“From legendary poet Walt Whitman to the entertainment genius of Gregory Hines to the majestic beauty of our Wild and Scenic Rivers, this program is diverse and wide-ranging and tells America’s story on stamps.”

The 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Hines (1946–2003), whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form.

A versatile performer who danced, acted and sang on Broadway, on television, and in movies like Tap, Waiting to Exhale and White Knights, Hines developed the entertainment traditions of tap into an art form for a younger generation. He is credited with renewing interest in tap during the 1990s. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp, which features a 1988 photograph by Jack Mitchell.

Gaye’s stamp is featured in the Music Icons series. The R&B crooner — best known for songs “What’s Going On,” “Let’s Get It On,” “Sexual Healing” and a slew of early Motown songs like “Heard It Through the Grapevine” — is one of the most influential singers of his generation. The stamp design features a portrait of Gaye inspired by historic photographs.

The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps, brief text about Gaye’s legacy, and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. Another portrait of Gaye, also inspired by historic photographs, appears on the reverse along with the Music Icons series logo. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp pane with original art by Kadir Nelson.

Customers may purchase stamps through the Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at a local post office.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Postal Service Saluting Black History Month With Lena Horne Stamp

The USPS has issued the 41st stamp in the Black Heritage series honoring the achievements of legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne (1917–2010). The stamp art features a photograph taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s. Kristen Monthei colorized the black-and-white photograph. Remembered as one of America‘s great interpreters of popular songs, Horne was also a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color. She used her personal elegance, charisma, and fame to become an important spokesperson for civil rights.

The stamp art features a photograph of Lena Horne taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s. Kristen Monthei colorized the original black-and-white photo, adding a background reminiscent of Horne’s Stormy Weather album, with a few clouds to add texture and subtly make the album reference. “Lena Horne” is written along the bottom of the stamp, with “Black Heritage,” the stamp series title, at the top. “USA” and “Forever” appear on the lower right-hand side above Horne’s name. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.

Order the stamp here: USPS: The Lena Horne Stamp

Thursday, February 12, 2015

USPS Releases Robert Robinson Taylor

The 38th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors architect and educator Robert Robinson Taylor (1868–1942). For more than three decades, Taylor supervised the design and construction of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama while also overseeing the school’s programs in industrial education and the building trades. He is believed to have been both the first black graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the country’s first academically trained black architect. Through his calm leadership and quiet dignity, he earned the admiration of colleagues and students alike while expanding opportunities for African Americans in fields that had largely been closed to them.

This stamp features a photograph of Taylor taken circa 1890, when he was around 22 years old and a student at MIT.

In 1892, after graduating from MIT, this young man from Wilmington, North Carolina, accepted an offer from educator and activist Booker T. Washington to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he soon set about shaping the appearance of the burgeoning school. Over the course of nearly 40 years, Taylor designed dozens of essential buildings, including libraries, dormitories, lecture halls, industrial workshops, and a handsome chapel, transforming a makeshift campus on an abandoned plantation into a confident, state-of-the-art institution.

Taylor’s work as a teacher and administrator was equally vital to the Tuskegee mission. While overseeing programs to train skilled artisans, he also established a curriculum with a certificate to help graduates enter collegiate architecture programs or earn entry-level positions at firms. His work furthered Booker T. Washington’s dream of fostering not just African-American builders and carpenters, but architects who could plan the buildings as well.

Art director Derry Noyes designed this stamp.

The Robert Robinson Taylor stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.

Buy this stamp: