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Mexican Stamp of Black Cartoon Character Sparks Controversy

A newly issued Mexican postage stamp of a once-popular black comic book character has sparked controversy.

Local and U.S. activists have called for the withdrawal of the stamp, which depicts a 1940's comic character called Memin Pinguin who has exaggerated thick lips and wide-opened eyes. American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has called the stamp racist.

But a presidential spokesman says the stamp is a celebration of Mexico's pop culture.

The release of the stamp comes just weeks after Mexican President Vicente Fox angered many African-Americans by saying illegal Mexican immigrants are willing to do jobs in the United States not even blacks want to do. Mr. Fox apologized for any misunderstanding, saying he was only trying to highlight the important contribution of Mexican workers in the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AP.