The United States Postal Service announced Feb. 23 that it would issue a forever stamp for Maya Angelou (1928-2014). This will not be the first stamp to honor the author and poet, the West African nation of Ghana commemorated her on a stamp issued 17 years ago.
Angelou had lived in Ghana from 1962 through 1967.
The 350-cedi stamp showing a portrait of Angelou was issued by Ghana March 25, 1998, according to the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, in a pane of six that also included stamps for Alex Haley, Charles Johnson, Richard Wright, Toni Cade Bambara and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Scott calls this stamp set Great Black Writers of the 20th Century (Scott 2027). The stamps also promoted world literacy.
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A similar set of six from Uganda (Scott 1549) commemorated Rita Dove, Mari Evans, Sterling A. Brown, June Jordan, Stephen Henderson and Zora Neale Hurston.
All 12 stamps were the idea of E. Ethelbert Miller, director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, who worked with the philatelic agency Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp. to get them issued.
Angelou attended a ceremony honoring these stamps from Ghana and Uganda Nov. 13, 1997, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
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