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WASHINGTON — The public has an opportunity to witness a historic event on Tuesday, April 7 when Postmaster General Megan Brennan will be joined by Oprah Winfrey, Ambassador Andrew Young and other notables in dedicating the Maya Angelou Forever stamp in Washington, DC.
The 11 a.m. first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony will take place at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St., NW. The event is free and open to the public. The public is asked to RSVP as soon as possible as seating is not guaranteed. Please RSVP at usps.com/mayaforever or by calling866-268-3243 before 5 p.m. ET April 3. Each RSVP is limited to two (2) seats. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Angelou fans are encouraged to share the news on social media using #MayaForever. The Maya Angelou Forever stamps may be pre-ordered now at this link for delivery shortly after April 7.
Also attending the ceremony will be Angelou’s grandson Colin Johnson; Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL); poet Sonia Sanchez; author and journalist Sophia Nelson; Howard University English professor Eleanor Traylor; poet and civil rights activist Nikki Giovanni; civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton; and Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin, whose portrait of Angelou was used for the stamp. The backstory on the portrait and the connection to Young and Winfrey can be found here. Melissa Harris-Perry will serve as master of ceremonies.
As an author, poet, actress, and champion of civil rights, Angelou (1928–2014) was one of the most dynamic voices in 20th-century American literature. The book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” an autobiographical account of her childhood, gained wide acclaim for its vivid depiction of African-American life in the South.
The stamp showcases Rossin’s 2013 4ft. by 4ft. oil-on-canvas portrait of Angelou. The large hyper-realistic painting is part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's collection, where it will be on display through Nov. 1. The stamp features this quotation by the pioneering author: “A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
The stamp pane includes a short excerpt from Angelou’s book, “Letter to My Daughter.” It reads: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, designed the stamp.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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