News

    Civil Rights Movement Stamps Salute U.S. struggle to Form A More Perfect Union

    Thousands of African Americans hold public office across the country today. That was impossible to imagine before President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

    "It was tremendous," Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles, one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, says."I don't think President Johnson ever got the credit he should have gotten for doing that."

    Rev. Kyles says the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting, grew out of that public protest. "It was a marvelous movement," he says."It saved America from a second bloody revolution. It was just common, ordinary, everyday people who stood up against fire hoses, dogs, bombing of their children in church. It was a terrible time in the history of America, but it still needs to be told."

    To tell the story behind the Civil Rights Movement, the U.S Postal Service has issued a 10-stamp series entitled In Order to Form A More Perfect Union. Service spokeswoman Susan LaChance says the title comes from the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. "These 10 depictions of the Civil Rights Movement are a very powerful way to celebrate the people and events that brought us so much closer to where our founding fathers wanted us to be, in having a more perfect union."

    Ms. LaChance says the collection chronicles the most notable events and figures of the Civil Rights Movement. "Everything," she says,"from the signing of the Executive Order that integrated all branches of our military, to the march in Selma, the bus boycott in Montgomery. We have a stamp to commemorate the Civil Rights Act (1964), the march on Washington DC when Dr. King gave his famous 'I have a dream' speech, and of course, the Voting Rights Act of 1965."

    One stamp in the series honors the Freedom Riders, a group of white and black men and women who took bus rides through the south to see how - or whether - the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation on public transportation was being carried out. Another stamp celebrates a 1954 Court ruling, Brown verses Board of Education, which overturned the policy of 'separate but equal.' Reverend Oliver Brown and 12 other families had filed suit against the local Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, claiming their children's separate education was inferior to that of the whites-only school. "My Dad was one of those people who really demonstrated what African Americans were doing at that time," Cheryl Brown Henderson, now president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equality, says. "That wasn't something that just happened by accident. That wasn't something that was driven by one person. It was something that African Americans had been organizing, challenging, petitioning and talking to school boards about for more than a century."

    Ms. Brown Henderson says she'd like to see this series of stamps inspire Americans to learn more about their nation's history. "I hope that not only those of us who understand civil rights history," she says, "but younger people will look at these stamps as another way to remind them of the valiant efforts on the part of the people who came before them to make changes so they can enjoy the lives they now enjoy. So I'm extremely pleased that the Postal Services has added 'In Order To Form A More Perfect Union' to their series of stamps."

    U.S Postal Service spokeswoman Susan LaChance says the Civil Rights' Stamp series is the most recent addition to a program that started more than 150 years ago. "Each year, the public suggests subjects that would be included on the postal stamps, and it is submited to the Stamp Advisory Committee," she says. "The Committee looks for themes that have national appeal, that are educational and celebrate achievements of Americans."

    Susan LaChance says when these stamps travel around the country on letters and packages, they will bring history alive, and deliver a message of gratitude for those who fought so hard for equality. These stamps, she says, will also challenge all Americans to follow in their footsteps until the vision of a 'more perfect union' is a reality

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora