Stamps to honor black entertainment icons

July 15, 2008 at 7:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service says it will offer a series of stamps highlighting the African-American cultural experience through vintage publicity posters.

The 42-cent commemorative first-class stamps are to be dedicated Wednesday at the Newark Museum in Newark, N.J., during the Black Film Festival. They are to go on sale nationwide the same day.

"Whether spotlighting the talents of entertainment icons Josephine Baker, Duke Ellington, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Fredi Washington, Louis Jordan, Daniel L. Haynes, Victoria Spivey or King Vidor, or documenting changing social attitudes and expectations -- these posters now serve a greater purpose than publicity and promotion," U.S. Postal Service Vice President and Consumer Advocate Delores Killette said in a statement. "They are invaluable pieces of history, preserving memories of cultural phenomena that otherwise might have been forgotten."

Scheduled to join Killette at the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony are Emmy-Award winning actress Lynn Whitfield, who played the leading role in "The Josephine Baker Story"; Baker's son, Jean-Claude Baker, and his brother, Jarry; Louis Jordan's widow, Martha Jordan; Paul Ellington, grandson of Duke Ellington; Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, and Gloria Hopkins Buck, chairwoman of the film festival.

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