Lena Horne
Lena Horne (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday honored legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne as the 41st honoree in its Black Heritage stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City.

“Today, we honor the 70-year career of a true American legend,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, who dedicated the stamp. “With this Forever stamp, the Postal Service celebrates a woman who used her platform as a renowned entertainer to become a prolific voice for civil rights advancement and gender equality.”

Horne, a native New Yorker, was a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color during a storied career in music, film, television and theater that spanned more than seven decades. Before her death in 2010 at age 92, she famously used her position and celebrity to inspire Americans as a dedicated activist for civil rights, even as such stances jeopardized her career.

Joining Stroman for the unveiling were author Gail Lumet Buckley, Horne’s daughter; photographer Christian Steiner and Amy Niles, president and CEO of WBGO Radio.

The stamp, designed by art director Ethel Kessler, features a black-and-white photograph of Lena Horne taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s, which was colorized by Kristen Monthei using Horne’s “Stormy Weather” album cover as inspiration.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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