Yesha Callahan

Maya Angelou Postage Stamp Features Quote Not Said By The Poet



The USPS released its new Maya Angelou stamp, but there’s one slight problem with it. The quote used on the stamp doesn’t even belong to Angelou. Although throughout the years it’s been attributed to her, unfortunately someone working at USPS didn’t fact check to make sure it was hers.

So who said the quote?

Book author Joan Walsh Anglund is the person behind the quote.

“Yes, that’s my quote,” Anglund said. The quote actually appears on page 15 of her book of poems “A Cup of Sun,” published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from “he” in Anglund’s original to “it” on the stamp.

But according to a USPS spokesperson, Angelou has used the quote also.

From The Washington Post:

A Postal Service spokesman, Mark Saunders, initially said he had never heard of the Anglund quote until The Washington Post informed him of it. In response, he sent a link to a 2013 blog post interview that quoted Angelou saying the phrase. In a later statement, he also said “numerous references” attributed the the quote to her as well.

“The Postal Service used her widely recognized quote to help build an immediate connection between her image and her 1969 nationally recognized autobiography, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ ” the statement said.

Anglund doesn’t have any hard feelings about the quote either.

“It’s an interesting connection, and interesting it would happen and already be printed and on her stamp,” Anglund said. “I love her and all she’s done, and I also love my own private thinking that also comes to the public because it comes from what I’ve been thinking and how I’ve been feeling.

“I don’t know about the stamp and I hope that it’s successful,” she added.

Now will the USPS actually change the stamp? They have yet to issue a statement about that.

  1. April 8, 2015 - Reply

    Of course, it is wonderful that the late Dr. Angelou is being honored.

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