Photo via: AFP/Getty Images
Legendary performer and activist Lena Horne has been named this year’s Black Heritage stamp series honoree. She is the 41st person to be selected for this series by the U.S. Postal Service.
During a dedication ceremony honoring the late Horne, Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman referred to her as a true American legend whose honor was well-deserved.
Photo credit: Ang Santos/ WBGO
“With this Forever stamp, the Postal Service celebrates a woman who used her platform as renowned entertainer to become a prolific voice for civil rights advancement and gender equality,” a Postal Service blog post reports Stroman saying.
The stamp was designed by art director Ethel Kessler and it features a photo of Horne that was taken in the 1980s by Christian Steiner.
Lorne, who passed away in 2010, began her career as a dancer at Harlem’s Cotton Club before going on to become a vocalist. The frequent racial discrimination that she received while touring as a singer led her to eventually stop her tour and move to Hollywood in 1941. In 1942, she signed a contact with MGM and became the first black actress to sign a contact with a major film studio since 1915. She signed the contract under the condition that she would never have to play the stereotypical roles that were given to Black actresses back then.
Aside from her work as a performer, Horne used her platform to collaborate with Eleanor Roosevelt in passing anti-lynching laws. She also performed at rallies in the South, supported the National Council for Negro Women and participated in the 1963 March on Washington.
The Lena Horne stamp is now available for purchase.