African Americans on Postage Stamps

Alvin Ailey

Master of Choreography

37-cent Alvin Ailey and Dancers stamp
The Alvin Ailey stamp was issued on May 4, 2004.

Alvin Ailey is one of the four masters of choreography featured on the American Dance stamp. He began his career as a dancer and established the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1959. Among his signature works are “Revelations,” a piece that integrates the music of jazz composer Duke Ellington; “Blues Suite;” and “Cry.” In 1979, Ailey received the Capezio Award and the Springarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also won the Kennedy Center Honors Prize in 1988 and received numerous honorary degrees. He worked as a pioneering modern dance choreographer until his death in 1989. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to tour.

The Black Experience