US Stamps

Maya Angelou stamp quote won't be fixed by USPS: New York Times

Apr 27, 2021, 10 AM

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Postal Service is not planning on reissuing the Maya Angelou forever stamp with a different quote.

The U.S. Postal Service is not planning to issue a new Maya Angelou forever stamp with a new quote, according to The New York Times.

Angelou's stamp was released on April 7 with a quote — “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” — that was not originally hers, but instead is attributed to children's book author Joan Walsh Anglund. It is from Anglund's 1967 book of poetry, A Cup of Sun.

READ: Author Joan Walsh Anglund confirms quote on Angelou stamp is hers

USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer is quoted in the Times story as saying Angelou frequently cited the quote in interviews. Partenheimer told the paper the quote "held great meaning" for Angelou and was chosen to "reflect her passion for the written and spoken word."

A number of Linn's Stamp News readers said via Facebook comments this week that they believed the USPS should replace the quote with one that is original to Angelou and issue a new stamp. 

"Halt the presses and get it right," Judith Ouellette Nadreau said in a comment. "The mistakes will become collector's items. Ms. Angelou deserves to be represented honestly."

Other commenters said the USPS should keep the quote. Gregory Schreiber said the damage is already done. 

"If they print all new stamps, they will be criticized for spending so much money needlessly," Schreiber commented. 

RELATED: Star-studded Maya Angelou forever stamp ceremony captured on Twitter

Mark Saunders, another USPS spokesperson, said that the Postal Service would have used a different quote had it known of the Anglund book.

President Barack Obama attributed the quote to Angelou while presenting her with the National Medal of Arts in 2014.