2009-02-12 / Local & State

Postal Service Honors Civil Rights Pioneers At NAACP Meeting

By Marilyn Loeser

Pictured above is the Civil Rights Pioneers' stamp which will be released February 21. Pictured above is the Civil Rights Pioneers' stamp which will be released February 21. To commemorate the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) 100th anniversary, the Postal Service will dedicate the Civil Rights Pioneers' stamps February 21.

The Civil Rights Pioneers stamps immortalize the courage, commitment and achievements of 12 civil rights leaders.

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) was a writer, activist and lecturer. She was a powerful advocate for racial justice and women's rights in America and abroad.

A journalist and social worker, Mary White Ovington (1865-1951) believed passionately in racial equality and was a founder of the NAACP.

J. R. Clifford (1848-1933) was the first black attorney licensed in West Virginia. In two landmark cases before his state's Supreme Court, he attacked racial discrimination in education.

Joel Elias Spingarn (1875- 1939) endowed the prestigious Spingarn Medal, awarded annually since 1915, to highlight black achievement.

One of the founders of the NAACP, Oswald Garrison Villard (1872-1949) wrote the "Call" leading to its formation.

Daisy Gatson Bates (1914- 1999) mentored nine black students who enrolled at allwhite Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957. The students used her home as an organizational hub.

A lawyer and educator, Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950) was a main architect of the civil rights movement. He believed in using laws to better the lives of underprivileged citizens.

With blue eyes and a fair complexion, NAACP leader Walter White (1893-1955) was able to make daring undercover investigations.

Medgar Evers (1925-1963) served with distinction as an official of the NAACP in Mississippi until his assassination in 1963.

A Mississippi sharecropper, Fannie Lou Hamer (1917- 1977) fought for black voting rights and spoke for many when she said, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Ella Baker (1903-1986) was a skillful organizer. She encouraged women and young people to assume positions of leadership in the civil rights movement.

A courageous and capable official with the NAACP, Ruby Hurley (1909-1980) did difficult, dangerous work in the South.

In addition to stamp honorees Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, W.E.B. Bu Bois, Ida B. Wells, Archibald Grimke, Henry Moskowitz and William English Walling were the original founders of the NAACP.

The Black Heritage stamp, historically issued in late January or early February, will be issued in June this year and will serve as the 2010 Black Heritage stamp.

Anna Julia Cooper (c.1858- 1964) is this year's honoree. She was an educator, scholar, feminist and activist who gave voice to the African- American community during the 19th and 20th centuries - from the end of slavery to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Postal Service is offering a variety of Black History products this year. For more information go to http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wc s/stores/servlet/TopCategoriesDi splay?storeId=10001&catalogId =10152.

Click on the "Celebrate Black History Month" box at the bottom of the page.

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