US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

USPS plans stamp for poet Maya Angelou

February 23, 2015 03:16 PM

Poet Maya Angelou, who died just 10 months ago, will be honored with a forever stamp, according to a Feb. 23 press release from the United States Postal Service. 

"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. "Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture."

The Postal Service did not release an image of the upcoming stamp. It will preview the stamp and provide details of the issue date and location at a later date.

Angelou was a poet, author, educator and civil rights activist known for her autobiographical works, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), and her poetry collections, including Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie (1971).

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Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Mo., she grew up in Stamps, Ark. She joined the Harlem Writers Guild and served as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, working for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and was appointed Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in 1982.

Her work extended to Broadway and in films and television, as a director, producer, writer and actor.

She wrote and recited the poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in January 1993, and in 2010 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Maya Angelou died May 28, 2014, at age 86.

First lady Michelle Obama, speaking at the June 7, 2014, memorial service for Angelou said, "Her message was very simple. She told us that our worth has nothing to do with what the world might say. Instead, she said each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory."

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