The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday (Feb. 23) that it will honor the legendary Maya Angelou with a “Forever” stamp. Dr. Angelou passed away last year at the age of 86 and is best known for her memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
USPS Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan issued a statement regarding the commemoration of Angelou via the stamp.
“Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word,” said Brennan. “Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture.”
Angelou was singer, actress, poet, author, director and screenwriter over the course of her long and illustrious career. Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Mo. but primarily raised in Stamps, Ark. Her early years were full of turbulence, and she eventually moved to Oakland, Calif. with her mother at 14. From there, everything about Angelou’s life would change.
Angelou’s life was rich and adventurous. She studied theater and dance as a young girl before becoming San Francisco’s first Black cable car conductor. Beyond that feat, Angelou was a single teen mother raising her son yet still chasing her dreams of becoming an entertainer.
Angelou later toured throughout Europe with the Porgy & Bess opera production, and later recorded her first album in 1957 titled Calypso Lady. Although Angelou never attended college, she has been awarded countless honorary degrees and taught at the university level.
A petition over at the Ultra Violet site called for a commemoration by the USPS. There hasn’t been any word if the campaign was the reason why the stamp was slated for approval.
The USPS has not released artwork of the stamp as of yet and there is no timetable for its official release.