Voices of the Harlem Renaissance

Voices of the Harlem Renaissance

Forever 55¢ | Multiple Stamp Designs

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Issue Date: 5/21/2020

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history. As African-American writers and artists pushed the boundaries of their identities and their art, they created a diverse body of work that explored their shared history and experience, embodied the spirit of the times, and let new and distinctive voices be heard.

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  • The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history. As African-American writers and artists pushed the boundaries of their identities and their art, they created a diverse body of work that explored their shared history and experience, embodied the spirit of the times, and let new and distinctive voices be heard. The four literary figures honored on these stamps highlight diverse facets of the Harlem Renaissance: writer, philosopher, educator, and arts advocate Alain Locke; novelist Nella Larsen; bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg; and poet Anne Spencer.

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

    In two novels, Nella Larsen (1891–1964) explored the complex experiences of mixed-race people and questions of identity and belonging. Now considered one of the most important novelists of the Harlem Renaissance, Larsen challenged conventional thinking, and her work continues to invite interpretations from previously neglected points of view.

    Writer, philosopher, educator, and arts advocate Alain Locke (1885–1954) was a vital intellectual figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Locke wrote and edited some of the most significant publications of the movement, and he played a leading role in supporting and promoting writers and artists.

    An ardent bibliophile and self-taught historian, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874–1938) demonstrated the worldwide contributions of people of African descent. By tirelessly collecting books, documents, artwork, and other materials, Schomburg rescued black history from obscurity and preserved priceless cultural knowledge for future generations.

    Known for unconventional imagery that evokes nature, gardening, religion, and myth, poet Anne Spencer (1882–1975) provided a haven for African-American writers and intellectuals in her Virginia garden and home, a reminder that the artistic and cultural life of the Harlem Renaissance extended far beyond New York City.

    The artist for these stamps was Gary Kelley. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps.

    The Voices of the Harlem Renaissance stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. These Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

    Made in the USA.

    SKUs featured on this page: 476404

  • Issue:Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Stamps
    Item Number:476400
    Denomination &
    Type of Issue:First-Class Mail Forever
    Format:Pane of 20 (4 designs)
    Series:N/A
    Issue Date & City:May 21, 2020, New York, NY 10199
    Art Director:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Designer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Typographer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Artist:Gary Kelley, Cedar Falls, IA
    Modeler:Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn
    Manufacturing Process:Offset
    Printer:Banknote Corporation of America
    Press Type:Alprinta 74
    Stamps per Pane:20
    Print Quantity:16,000,000 stamps
    Paper Type:Phosphor, Block Tag
    Adhesive Type:Pressure-sensitive
    Processed at:Banknote Corporation of America
    Stamp Orientation:Vertical
    Image Area (w x h):0.84 x 1.42 in./ 21.336 x 36.068 mm
    Stamp Size (w x h):0.98 x 1.56 in./24.892 x 39.624 mm
    Full Pane Size (w x h):6 x 9 in./152.4 x 228.6 mm
    Colors:Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
    Plate Size:160 stamps per revolution
    Plate Number:B followed by four (4) single digits
    Marginal Markings:
    Front:Header: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance • Plate number in bottom two corners
    Back:©2019 USPS • USPS logo • 2 barcodes (476400) • Plate position diagram (8) • Promotional text

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