Legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks will take center stage when the U.S. Postal Service presents a new Forever Stamp in her honor Feb. 1 during the 44th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles.
In a taped message — to air live to audience members only during the Image Awards program —Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman will highlight a new set of civil rights stamps — including the stamp honoring Parks. Her refusal to sit in the back of a Montgomery, AL, bus Dec. 1, 1955 ignited a movement that ultimately challenged racial segregation and inspired others to similar actions.
The Postal Service launched a new set of civil rights stamps Jan. 1 with the Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp, issued at The National Archives in Washington, DC. In August, the series will culminate with the dedication of a stamp recognizing the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.
The new civil rights stamps focus on freedom, courage and equality. In his message, Stroman expresses how the Civil War was “a struggle for unity” that became “a fight for freedom,” as reflected with the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. “Rosa Parks’ act of courage changed American history,” said Stroman. In referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered during the March on Washington, Stroman reminds viewers that “the dream of equality galvanized a nation.”
The Rosa Parks Forever Stamp will go on sale nationwide Feb. 4, which would have been her 100th birthday, at local Post Offices, online at usps.com/stamps or by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).
To kick off sales of the Rosa Parks stamp, a special ceremony will be held in Detroit at 7:30 a.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
At 10:45 a.m., the Postal Service will convene the first-day-of-issue ceremony during the National Day of Courage honoring Parks at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, where the Rosa Parks bus is on permanent display.
The NAACP Image Awards is a premier multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through other creative endeavors. The two-hour live broadcast will air Feb. 1, 8-10 p.m. EST on NBC.