2016 Kwanzaa Forever stamp (218837)
Credit: USPS/Synthia Saint James and Greg Breeding

The U.S. Postal Service issued the 2016 Kwanzaa Forever stamp on October 1 in Charleston, S.C.

Featuring a bright and colorful design, the stamp art features a young African-American woman wearing a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earring. A large purple bowl overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations.

Artist Synthia Saint James worked with art director Greg Breeding, who designed the stamp. James designed the first Kwanzaa stamp for the United States Postal Service, which was first issued in 1997. She’s also know for her work on several Black novel book cover, most notably Terry McMillan’s Waiting to to Exhale

The stamp design celebrates the annual holiday of Kwanzaa, which takes place over seven days from December 26 to January 1. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday. Kwanzaa derives its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili. The holiday honors African-American family, community, and culture.

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. Stamps can be purchased at Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at www.usps.com⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724.