Maya Angelou to be featured on U.S. Postage Stamp


The U.S. Postal Service has announced that African-American poet, author, actress, and singer Maya Angelou will be honored with a Forever Stamp.

“Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan in a news release about the event.  “Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture.”

The Postal Service will unveil the stamp at a later date, which hasn’t been announced as of yet.

Stamps, Arkansas was the childhood home of author Maya Angelou ( 1928-2014)  and was depicted in her autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which harnessed a National Book Award nomination. Angelou spent much of her youth in the town in the home of her paternal grandmother, who ran the only African American general store in town. After Angelou’s passing last year, the city of Stamps dedicated the city’s park and Lake June to Angelou.

Highlights of Angelou’s career include a Pulitzer Prize nominee for Just Give Me a Drink of Water Fore I Diiie (1972) and a Tony Award winner for her performance in Look Away.  She also received an Emmy nomination for her role in the television miniseries Roots (1977).

Angelou worked for civil rights in the U.S. during the 1960s and was the second poet in the country to be selected to present an inaugural poem reading On the Pulse of Morning  at President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. The first was Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

For her work, she has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, received the National Medal of Arts, and the prestigious Lincoln Medal. The list of her published work includes more than 30 titles.

This isn’t the first time Angelou has been honored on a stamp. In 1997, she was among 12 African American writers honored on postage stamps from the African nations of Ghana and Uganda. The theme was “Great Writers of the 20th Century”.