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21 May 2020

Voices of the Harlem Renaissance
New York, NY

United States: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance, 21 May 2020. Images from Stamp News Now and eBay.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Stamps
Item Number: 476400
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Pane of 20 (4 designs)
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

From the USPS announcement on 22 October 2019:

These stamps celebrate one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, which firmly established African Americans as a vital force in literature and the arts. Twenty stamps showcase four stylized pastel portraits of these literary figures: writer, philosopher, educator and arts advocate Alain Locke; novelist Nella Larsen; bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg; and poet Anne Spencer. African-inspired motifs are used as background elements of each portrait. The pane header shows a cityscape in silhouette with a sun in its midst and the title “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.” The artist for these stamps was Gary Kelley. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps.


From the Postal Bulletin, 10 April 2020:

On May 21, 2020, in New York, NY, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Voices of the Harlem Renaissance stamps (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 20 stamps (Item 476400). The stamps will go on sale nationwide May 21, 2020, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue. The Voices of the Harlem Renaissance pane of 20 stamps may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.

This issuance celebrates one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, which firmly established African Americans as a vital force in literature and the arts. Twenty stamps showcase four stylized pastel portraits of these literary figures:

  • Alain Locke, writer, philosopher, educator, and arts advocate;
  • Nella Larsen, novelist;
  • Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, bibliophile and historian; and
  • Anne Spencer, poet.

African-inspired motifs are used as background elements of each portrait. The pane header shows a cityscape in silhouette with a sun in its midst and the issuance title “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.” The artist for these stamps was Gary Kelley. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps.

Press release dated 15 April 2020:

USPS Cancels Dedication Ceremony for Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Stamps

These stamps will still be available for purchase on May 21.

The U.S. Postal Service is canceling the dedication ceremony for the Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Forever stamps, previously announced for May 21, due to social distancing guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Voices of the Harlem Renaissance Forever stamps will still be available for purchase on May 21. A follow-up announcement for the stamps will be made prior to the release date.

Customers may purchase these stamps through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic and at Post Office locations nationwide.

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