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Postal News: USPS previews Maya Angelou stamp

March 25, 2015
By PHIL WIEBOLD , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The U.S. Postal Service announced that the first-day-of-issue for the Maya Angelou Forever stamp dedication ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. April 7 in Washington, D.C. The stamps may be pre-ordered now for delivery shortly after April 7.

As an author, poet, actress and champion of civil rights, Angelou (19282014) 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 Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin's 2013 48-by-48 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, Maryland, designed the stamp. Customers are encouraged to use social media to spread the news about the stamp using #MayaForever.

"This is exactly how I see myself and exactly how I wish to be remembered," Rossin recalled of Angelou's reaction to his work.

"I wanted to capture her laughter, her cry and the forgiveness and blessings that came from her face," he added. "It is not only her portrait that is bigger than life. It is she herself who is bigger than life. The portrait is evidence of her magic."

Phil Wiebold is a spokesman for U.S. Postal Service.

 
 

 

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