James Baldwin Tribute: USPS Dedicates 20th Stamp in Literary Arts Series

Jul 23, 2004, 01:00 ET from U.S. Postal Service

    WASHINGTON, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Well-known author James Baldwin, whose
 works explore race relations, as well as the arts and human relationships, was
 honored today when the U.S. Postal Service dedicated a new commemorative
 postage stamp in its Literary Arts stamp series.  The ceremony was held in the
 Langston Hughes Auditorium of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black
 Culture, New York, NY.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040723/DCF028 )
     "His writings are a demonstration of his love for all of us.  Baldwin
 wrote with great honesty and passion.  You can almost feel his need to explore
 the hard truths of our society," said Henry Pankey, vice president, Emergency
 Preparedness, U.S. Postal Service, who dedicated the stamp.  "Sometimes, it
 almost hurts to read his poignant poems, essays, books and plays."
     World-renowned author and actor Dr. Maya Angelou, and poet and author
 Amiri Baraka, delivered tributes to Baldwin.  Actor Avery Brooks served as
 master of ceremonies for the event, which included actor Ossie Davis,
 acclaimed star of stage, film and television; Ruby Dee, actor, writer and
 producer; Howard Dodson, Chief, Schomburg Center for Research in Black
 Culture; and the Reverend Doctor Samuel Joubert, Sr., Pastor Emeritus,
 Community Baptist Church, Bayside, NY.
     The incomparable Boys Choir of Harlem; Odetta, folk music's grand-dame,
 and actor; and singer Jerry Dixon provided musical selections.
     Stamp artist Thomas Blackshear II based his portrait of Baldwin on a
 black-and-white photograph taken around 1960, probably in New York.  The stamp
 background is evocative of Baldwin's novel "Go Tell It on the Mountain," set
 in Harlem, and is based on a photograph by Berenice Abbot taken in Harlem in
     To see the James Baldwin stamp and other images from the 2004
 Commemorative Stamp Program, visit the Postal Store at
 http://www.usps.com/shop and click on "Release Schedule" in the Collector's
     Current U.S. stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are
 available by toll-free phone order at 1 800 STAMP-24.  A wide selection of
 stamps and other philatelic items is also available at the Postal Store at
 http://www.usps.com/shop.  Beautifully framed prints of original stamp art for
 delivery straight to the home or office are available at
     Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families,
 neighbors and businesses by mail.  An independent federal agency, the Postal
 Service makes deliveries to more than 141 million addresses every day and is
 the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation.  The
 Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but
 derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and
 services.  With annual revenues of more than $68 billion, it is the world's
 leading provider of mail and delivery services, offering some of the most
 affordable postage rates in the world.  Moreover, today's postage rates will
 remain stable until at least 2006.  The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than
 46 percent of the world's mail volume -- some 202 billion letters,
 advertisements, periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven million
 customers each day at its 38,000 retail locations nationwide.

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service