2020 55¢ Voices of Harlem
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 21, 2020
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 16,000,000
In 2020, the United States Postal Service celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with the release of four new forever stamps. The stamps picture four famous figures from the time period: Nella Larsen, Arturo Schomburg, Anne Spencer, and Alain Locke. Each played a part in the cultural movement and left behind their writings for future generations to have a lasting memory of African American culture of the time.
The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual, social, and artistic movement. It took place from around 1918 through the mid-1930s, though the most influential period was the 1920s. It began in the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem, and spread from there, though Harlem was always at the “center.” The Harlem Renaissance represented a revival of African American history, values, and traditions that had been all but eliminated during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Back then, it was referred to as the “New Negro Movement,” after Alain Locke’s The New Negro. This anthology was a collection of writings by many prominent African Americans of the time. It was published in 1925.
Thanks to the Harlem Renaissance, people from all races began to stand up and take notice of the wonders of African American culture. The surge in new music, entertainment, and writings did not stop there, and their influences are still felt today.