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VIA: U.S. Post Service

Negro Leagues Baseball, pioneering black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, Nobel Peace Prize honoree Mother Teresa, legendary actress Katharine Hepburn, and Cowboys of the Silver Screen are among the subjects headlining the 2010 stamp program, the U.S. Postal Service announced.

In addition, consumers get much-needed assistance in sending greeting cards: the first stamp designed especially for oversized or odd-sized cards. On May 17, the Postal Service will issue the Monarch stamp for use on cards that require additional postage. An illustration of a generic butterfly will be depicted on cards or envelopes to remind customers to buy the new Monarch butterfly stamp.

Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp:

The Negro Leagues Baseball stamps, to be issued in June, pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. Drawing some of the most remarkable athletes ever to play the sport, including Satchel Page and Josh Gibson, the Negro leagues galvanized African-American communities across the country, challenged racist notions of athletic superiority, and ultimately sparked the integration of American sports.

The Negro Leagues Baseball stamps pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. The two 44-cent stamps comprise one scene painted by Kadir Nelson.

In 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster (1879–1930)—who began his baseball career as a pitcher—established the Negro National League, the first successful league of African-American teams. Nicknamed “Rube” after defeating major-league pitcher George Edward “Rube” Waddell in 1902, Foster is considered the “father” of Negro leagues baseball. He is featured on the stamp.

Oscar Micheaux:

The 33rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, to be issued June 22, honors pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, who wrote, directed, produced and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century. An ambitious, larger-than-life figure, Micheaux thrived at a time when African-American filmmakers were rare, venues for their work were scarce, and support from the industry did not exist. Micheaux’s entrepreneurial spirit and independent vision continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and artists.

This stamp features a stylized portrait of Oscar Micheaux by Gary Kelley. The artwork is based on one of the few surviving photographs of Micheaux, a portrait that appeared in his 1913 novel The Conquest.

Although only 15 of his movies are known to have survived in whole or in part, Micheaux has become a cinematic icon. In 1986, he was posthumously awarded a special Directors Guild of America award. In 1995, the Producers Guild of America established the Oscar Micheaux Award to honor “an individual or individuals whose achievements in film and television have been accomplished despite difficult odds.”

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