Shocker: The U.S. Postal Service fucked up.

How this could have happened is beyond me, especially given the current political climate, but whatever. Here’s the deal:

The USPS unveiled it’s “Maya Angelou Forever” commemorative stamp at a ceremony on Tuesday.

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It was a star-studded ceremony, with Oprah Winfrey,

First Lady Michelle Obama,

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and…well, a bunch of other people I don’t recognize. Anyway, as you can see, this was the stamp:

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Here’s the problem:

“On April 6, Lonnae O’Neal reported in the Washington Post that the prominent quote on the stamp design, ‘A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song,’ in fact did not come from Angelou but was published in the book A Cup of Sun by Joan Walsh Anglund, which carries a 1967 copyright.”1Joe O’Donnell, Catch up on All the Maya Angelou Stamp News: Morning Report, Linn’s Stamp News (Apr. 8, 2015), [Hover for full URL]. Anglund confirmed this the following day.2See id.

ONE STAMP.

ONE QUOTE.

THEY ONLY HAD TO CHOOSE ONE QUOTE.

(SHE HAS, LIKE, A BILLION OF THEM.)

AND THEY CHOSE ONE THAT ISN’T HERS. 

USPS says they didn’t know, and that if they had, they would have picked a different quote.3See It’s the Thought That Counts, 614 Now (Apr. 8, 2015), [Hover for full URL].

Yes, duh. Thanks so much for clarifying that.

Of course, as the website 614 Now noted, “I hope by ‘different’ they mean a Maya Angelou quote, because the issue isn’t the quote, but who said it.”4Id. Don’t ever take anything for granted with the U.S. Postal Service.

Naturally, this epic USPS snafu led to some of us posting on Twitter some other Maya Angelou Forever stamps “quoting” the famous poet:

(Credit for images 3, 7, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, and 27: Ken White (@Popehat))

And finally, my favorite:

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If you don’t recognize this, it was from a series of fake commercials on Saturday Night Live performed by David Alan Grier. You can see them below on this compilation video I stitched together of my favorite Maya Angelou impersonations.5I had assembled the video when she died on May 28, 2014, as a tribute. It also contains the “Today on Craigslist” series from The Big Gay Sketch Show, in which Angelou is played by Colman Domingo. Absolutely hysterical.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Joe O’Donnell, Catch up on All the Maya Angelou Stamp News: Morning Report, Linn’s Stamp News (Apr. 8, 2015), [Hover for full URL].
2. See id.
3. See It’s the Thought That Counts, 614 Now (Apr. 8, 2015), [Hover for full URL].
4. Id.
5. I had assembled the video when she died on May 28, 2014, as a tribute.
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