WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service today kicked off this year’s Black History Month observances by dedicating the Dorothy Height Forever stamp during a ceremony at Howard University.
The 40th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Height, a tireless activist, who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. She became one of the most influential civil and women’s rights leaders of the 20th century.
“The Postal Service is proud to honor civil rights icon Dorothy Height, an American treasure, whose illustrious career spanned almost a century,” said Ronald Stroman, deputy postmaster general and chief government relations officer, who dedicated the stamp.
“The Dorothy Height Forever stamp will serve as a lasting tribute to her life and legacy of seeking equality and justice for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, gender or race.”
Stroman was joined at the stamp dedication ceremony by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Alexis Herman, president, Dorothy I. Height Education Foundation; Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women; Naima Randolph, Dorothy Height’s great niece; Wayne A.I. Frederick, president, Howard University; and Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Dorothy Height stamp features artist Thomas Blackshear II’s, portrait of Height. The painting is based on a photograph shot by Lateef Mangum in 2009. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
In 1963, the Height-led National Council of Negro Women joined the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Height was an architect of the August 1963 March on Washington, where she shared the stage with Martin Luther King Jr. It was Height who pushed to include a voice of youth like John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and insisted on no time limits for King’s speech.
Gender equality also was important to Height, who fought for the rights of women, particularly women of color. President John F. Kennedy named her to his Commission on the Status of Women, which was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. Height attended the 1963 White House ceremony where Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. In 1971, she helped form the National Women’s Political Caucus.
In 1977, Height officially retired from the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), for which she worked for 40 years. In addition to numerous honorary degrees, Height received the nation’s two highest civilian honors. In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A decade later, President George W. Bush presented her with the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2009, she was a guest of Barack Obama when he was sworn in as the nation’s 44th president.
The Dorothy Height stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. The public is asked to share the news of the stamp using the hashtags #DorothyHeightForever and #BlackHeritageStamps.
Customers may purchase the Dorothy Height Forever stamp at usps.com/stamps, at the Postal Store usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide. A variety of stamps and collectibles also is available at ebay.com/stamps.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at the Postal Store usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in envelopes addressed to:
FDOI – Dorothy Height
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by April 1, 2017.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are seven philatelic products for this stamp issue:
474306, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $58.80
474310, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95.
474316, First-Day Cover, $0.93.
474321, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
474324, Framed Art, $39.95.
474330, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
474334, Stamp Ceremony Memento, $21.95.