One of the highlights will be the unveiling of a limited-edition 1963 March on Washington stamp. The Forever stamp will be the third in a trilogy of civil rights stamps.
For the first time, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil a stamp simultaneously online via Facebook and onsite at the Newseum. You can help digitally unveil the stamp artwork by adding your Facebook or Twitter profile to the March on Washington Stamp Mosaic. Each individual photo will unveil a small piece of the artwork, becoming a pixel in the virtual stamp mosaic. As more people contribute to the mosaic, more pieces of the stamp will be revealed. At the same time you will be taking a stand for equality.
At the first-day-of-issue ceremony, actress Gabrielle Union will submit her Facebook profile which will trigger the unveiling of the full stamp artwork.
The new Forever stamps are part of the Postal Service’s celebration of the civil rights movement:
The U.S. Postal Service is celebrating the best of
America with several limited-edition stamps in 2013. This includes the Civil Rights set, which praises the honorable qualities of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
This set recognizes the courage of Rosa Parks; freedom embodied in the Emancipation Proclamation; and equality marked by the March on Washington.
In his State of the Urban League Address, NUL President Marc H. Morial observed:
Next month – on Aug. 28 – will be 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, organized in part by our own Whitney M. Young, Jr., and challenged this nation to live up to the founding ideals that were conceived in Philadelphia and engraved in that Liberty Bell.
The events, both good and bad, of 1963, awakened the conscience of this nation and sped up the wheels of progress. I mention these events, not to elicit tears or sadness, but to remind you of both the sacrifices and the progress that have been made over the past 50 years. These events directly led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Thank God, things ain’t what they used to be. As Morial noted:
Fifty years ago, 75% of black adults had not completed high school. Currently, 85% of black adults have a high school education. At the college level, there are now 3.5 times more blacks enrolled, and five times as many blacks hold a college degree.
As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Urban League and The Memorial Foundation will convene Drum Majors for Justice Summit: Redeem the Dream “to celebrate, renew our commitment, and equip young leaders to be drum majors into the future.”
African Americans have always had a hand in shaping the American sound. From gospel and Motown to bebop and blues, their story is bound up in the music they made -- songs of hurt and hardship, yearning and hope, and struggle for a better day. Those feelings speak to something common in all of us. With passion and creativity, African-American performers have done more than reinvent the musical styles they helped define; they have channeled their music into making change and advancing justice, from radio booths to the stage to our city streets.
That story is still unfolding today. We see it in the young poet putting his words to a beat; the conservatory student perfecting her technique; the jazz musician making old melodies new again. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, let us celebrate these artists and the generations who inspired them, and let us reflect on our heritage as a Nation forever enriched by the power of song.