The U.S. Postal Service just announced civil rights leader Dorothy Height will be honored as the 40th stamp in the Black Heritage Forever series. The painting of Height is based on based on a 2009 photograph shot by Lateef Mangum. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
Height was a tireless activist who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. She lived a remarkable life that was in service to her community but African-American women in particular. Although she rarely gained the recognition granted her male contemporaries, she became one of the most influential civil rights leaders of the 20th century. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.
In 1990, Height, along with 15 other African Americans, formed the African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom. She served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1947 to 1956; was the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and an honored guest at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, where she was seated on stage.
Height is the 15th African American woman to appear in the series. The stamp will be available in 2017.
On Monday, Feb. 23, the United States Postal Service announced that writer, actress and poet Maya Angelou will be honored with a Forever Stamp.
Though Angelou died last year at the age of 86, she remains an icon and inspiration because of her life of advocacy and her countless contributions to society. Her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is one of her most acclaimed works. It tells the story of her life in the Jim Crow South.
The Postal Service plans to preview the stamp and provide details on the date and location of the first day of issue ceremony at a later time. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan stated, “Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word. Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture.”
In a significant move that brings to the forefront African-American aviation pioneers, the first-ever U.S. postal stamp honoring Tuskegee Airmen is due to be issued this month. The definitive stamp, which immortalizes aviation trailblazer Charles Alfred Anderson, Sr., goes on sale nationwide March 13.
The 70-cent, First-Class Mail, two-ounce rate stamp, by artist and illustrator Sterling Hundley, will be unveiled next Thursday at a dedication ceremony at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
It is part of the Distinguished Americans series, which since 2000 has honored people such as actor José Ferrer, athlete Wilma Rudolph, and scientist Jonas Salk. The Chief Anderson stamp is the fifteenth in the series.
C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, also known as the “father of black aviation” was selected because he was “a pioneer in aviation who played a crucial role during World War II in training the nation’s first black military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen,” says USPS regional spokesman Ray V. Daiutolo Sr.
In fact, when Anderson earned his air transport license in 1932, he was the only black American in the country qualified to serve as a flight instructor or to fly commercially. Later he because the first-ever American to successfully land an airplane in the Bahamas.
Many wonder who were the first group of African-Americans to get their own stamp.
It’s no secret that African-Americans have contributed to the development of the United States; more than we are given credit for. However, most of the ones who have been acknowledged for their work in America have been honored with their very on U.S., postage stamp.
While we know Harriett Tubman and other famous African-Americans have their pictures on stamps, many wonder who were the first group of African-Americans to get their own stamp.
Check out the list below to find out:
1. Booker T. Washington
Born of slaves, Booker T. Washington worked his way through Hampton Institute and Wayland Seminary. By the age of 25, he was named the president of the Tuskegee Institute. Washington was known for being one of the best orators of his time who used his oration skills to be the voice for African-Americans. He also helped develop 5,000 small schools to educate African-Americans throughout the south.
Washington was awarded with a 10 cent stamp in 1940. The U.S. Postal Service invited the pubic for recommendations and Booker T. Washington’s name was repeatedly submitted. Him receiving a 10 cent stamp was an honor in itself because most of the other African-Americans featured were relegated to the stamps worth a penny or two.
2. George Washington Carver
As one of the most famous African-Americans of his time, George Washington Carver became known as “The Peanut Man” due to his extensive work trying to explain the positive effect peanuts could have on the southern farming industry. After being invited by Booker T. Washington to become the Director of Agriculture at Tuskegee Institute, Carver continued his work in botany and agriculture until the day he died in 1934.
Today, to honor the Feb. 4 centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks, the United States Postal Service has issued a Rosa Parks stamp. Last year, a stone carving of Parks was added to the National Cathedral. In 2005, she became the first woman and second African American to lie in honor in the nation’s Capitol and, through a special act of Congress, a statue of her was ordered placed in the Capitol.
Yet these tributes to Rosa Parks rest on a narrow and distorted vision of her legacy. As the story goes, a quiet Montgomery, Ala., seamstress with a single act challenged Southern segregation, catapulted a young Martin Luther King Jr. into national leadership and ushered in the modern civil rights movement. Parks’ memorialization promotes an improbable children’s story of social change — one not-angry woman sat down, the country was galvanized and structural racism was vanquished.
This fable diminishes the extensive history of collective action against racial injustice and underestimates the widespread opposition to the black freedom movement, which for decades treated Parks’ political activities as “un-American.” Most important, it skips over the enduring scourge of racial inequality in American society — a reality that Parks continued to highlight and challenge — and serves contemporary political interests that treat racial injustice as a thing of the past.