Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou on what would be her 87th birthday. To commemorate the spirit and accomplishments of Dr. Angelou, she’s being honored by Oprah Winfrey on April 7th with her own Forever Stamp ceremony at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.
Joanne Braxton, Professor of English and Africana Studies at William & Mary College is a friend of the Angelou family and was presented with the opportunity to be the project’s consultant by the United States Postal Service. In Braxton’s words: “I answered that it was a sacred work,” she recalled, “and that anyone who did it would be blessed. I was all in.”
The stamp features Atlanta artist Ross R. Rossin’s oil-on-canvas portrait of Angelou with the celebrated author’s quotation: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” In addition, the stamp pane includes a short excerpt from Angelou’s book, Letter to My Daughter, and reads: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
Rossin is a Bulgarian-American portrait artist known for his large-scale, realist portraits of modern and historical figures including: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Andrew Young, Hank Aaron, and Maya Angelou.
What an apropos acknowledgment of Dr. Angelou’s significance and influence in literature, music and art. Her gift was her ability to lift spirits and provoke ideals in our culture. I’m looking forward to purchasing this special recognition that honors her “forever spirit” for years to come.
In honor of Maya Angelou’s birthday, this is a special reposting of my tribute from May 28, 2014 on her passing.
“Phenomenal Woman” – R.I.P – Dr. Maya Angelou
Renowned Poet, Author, Actress and Director dies at 86.
May her soul and her spirit forever soar.
A remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. Credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014