All Articles Tagged "USPS"

USPS Maya Angelou Stamp Features A Quote From Another Writer

April 7th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Thank you @USPS for celebrating our American Queen. I just bought 100 stamps. #MayaForever

A photo posted by Oprah (@oprah) on

Update: The dedication ceremony for Maya Angelou’s stamp took place today, and the Forever Stamp is officially for sale. However, it looks like there’s an issue with the quote. According to The Washington Post, the stamp features a line — “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” — that was actually written by another author, Joan Walsh Anglund. While Angelou has said the words and they are reminiscent of her famous book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, she never actually wrote this.

In an email, a US Postal Service spokesperson Mark Saunders told WaPo, “Had we known about this issue beforehand, we would have used one of [Angelou’s] many other works. . . . The sentence held great meaning for her and she is publicly identified with its popularity.”

For her part, Anglund doesn’t seem too upset by the error. But still… sigh.

Will you be getting yours?

Update by Tonya Garcia


Originally posted February 23, 2015

Last Spring, when the beloved Maya Angelou passed, Twitter campaigned for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to honor the iconic poet with a stamp to immortalize her heart-touching legacy for years to come. Fast forward to the present and Ms. Angelou’s got herself that stamp!

“Stamps have featured people for their notable accomplishments in the arts. They have included American heroes, but one is missing. Maya Angelou was influential in so many ways,” the petition wrote. USPS has responded:

“Maya Angelou inspired our nation through a life of advocacy and through her many contributions to the written and spoken word,” Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan said in a press statement. “Her wide-ranging achievements as a playwright, poet, memoirist, educator, and advocate for justice and equality enhanced our culture.”

This commemoration comes right after the USPS honored MIT’s first African-American graduate, Robert Robinson Taylor, in mid-February. The Black architect and educator was sworn in as USPS’ 38th stamp in the Black Heritage series.

“Over the course of nearly 40 years, Taylor designed dozens of essential buildings, including libraries, dormitories, lecture halls, industrial workshops, and a handsome chapel, transforming a makeshift campus on an abandoned plantation into a confident, state-of-the-art institution,” USPS said of Taylor, who graduated from MIT in 1892.

The stamp, which can be purchased starting from $1.96, features a photograph of a 22-year-old Taylor circa 1880 as a student at MIT.

As for Angelou’s Fovever Stamp, that’s still under wraps; the stamp ceremony will be announced.

Angelou, best known for her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoir, died on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. Her countless achievements include delivering her On the Pulse of Morning speech at President Clinton’s 1993 inauguration and her Presidential Medal of Freedom award, given to her in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

(And to see more of the 2014 MN Bosses, highlighted in the image above, click here.)

USPS Honors First Black MIT Graduate With New Postage Stamp

February 14th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Robert Robinson Taylor would be elated to see his face on a stamp. USPS is honoring Taylor, the first Black American MIT graduate, with a stamp to commemorate his legacy, MIT News reports.

Taylor, an educator and architect, is the 38th postage stamp in USPS’ Black Heritage series. A dedication ceremony for Taylor’s induction was held at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in D.C. on Thursday morning. Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior adviser, was in attendance. She is, after all, his great granddaughter.

“Anytime I face a daunting challenge and self-doubt creeps in, I think of my great grandfather, Robert Taylor, the son of a slave, who traveled from Wilmington, NC, to attend M.I.T. in 1882,” Jarrett said, according to WUSA9. 

“He believed that with a good education, hard work, relentless determination and a dedication to family, there were no limits to what he could accomplish…” Jarrett added.

Taylor earned his diploma and graduated from MIT in 1892 and became the nation’s first African-American academically trained architect. He took as many as 10 courses per semester, MIT News said, achieving honors in architectural history, trigonometry, differential calculus, and applied mechanics. Whew!

But that’s not all. Taylor also oversaw the design and construction of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, which is now Tuskegee University. The iconic MIT graduate also supervised “the school’s programs in industrial education and the building trades,” MIT added.

Taylor also took his architectural genius to Africa, Liberia to be specific, where helped establish the Booker Washington Agricultural and Industrial Institute.

“My family is proud to stand on his shoulders and we know that it is our responsibility to embrace his values, to ensure that his legacy will be ‘forever stamped’ in the conscious of future generations,” Jarrett said.

Sponsored Content: Pay, Print & Ship™ Your Holiday Packages With USPS® This Season

December 10th, 2013 - By Raven Carter
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Laila Ali

If you’re like most shoppers across the U.S., finding the perfect gift for your friends, family, and loved ones is just one aspect of the Holiday shuffle. You also have to get those presents to the intended recipients.

Thankfully, the U.S. Postal Service® has you covered with improved domestic Priority Mail®, which lets you track holiday packages from drop-off to delivery, and makes it much easier for you to Send Joy With Ease this holiday season — such as the Holiday care package our resident Mommy-in-Chief Laila Ali put together featuring some of her favorite mailable ingredients to make her famous oven-fried chicken.

Yup, you can Pay, Print & Ship™ with Priority Mail® all right from your home with just a few clicks! Simply:

  1. Order free Priority Mail Flat Rate® boxes which will be delivered right to you.
  2. Use Click-N-Ship® to create, print and pay for your postage label at home
  3. Schedule a free next-day Package Pickup*
  4. Use USPS Tracking™† to check the status of your package

*For details on free Package Pickup, visit

† Limitations may apply for certain destinations. Not available for Priority Mail International® Flat Rate Envelopes or Small Flat Rate Boxes.


New Host! New Topics! Mommy in Chief is Back!

December 6th, 2013 - By jade
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Mommy in Chief is back for Season 4 and this time it is brought to you by USPS®. Our new host is the beautiful and talented Laila Ali and on this season she will go over topics that range from preparing the perfect Holiday Care Package with her famous Oven Fried Chicken ingredients to inviting some of her celebrity friends to share advice on how to find me-time for yourself.

Make sure you watch the first episode airing on December 10th where she will be making her famous oven fried chicken, just in time for the holidays!




Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:

 Season 3

Season 2

Season 1




US Postal Service Reports a $5 Billion Loss, Asks Congress For Help

November 17th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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This letter carrier put out a house that was on fire then continued on his route, FYI. via @USPS

This letter carrier put out a house that was on fire then continued on his route, FYI. via @USPS

The U.S. Postal Service is still suffering from painful blows to their economic growth. Post office officials reported a $5 million loss over the past year and they’re begging Congress to pass legislation to rectify their financial crisis, ABC News reports.

USPS is blaming a 2006 congressional decree for their financial troubles: the mandate forced the Postal Service to cover health care plans for future retirees. The additional $5.6 billion per year that services retired employees caused the federal agency to default on three of those annual payments.

“Postal officials have been pressing Congress to let the agency end Saturday mail delivery and reduce the payments for retiree health benefits,” ABC News adds, “But prospects for a legislative fix are increasingly unlikely this year.”

The Post Service is also urging the Postal Regulatory Commission to raise the rate of postage stamps from 46 cents to 49 cents.

USPS has made significant cuts in the agency saving them $1 billion. They reduced their workforce by 37,400, consolidated 143 mail processing centers, eliminated 1,400 delivery routes, and changed retail hours in 7,000 locations. “The $5 billion loss is less than a third of the record $15.9 billion loss the Postal Service reported last year,” ABC News noted.

This is the Postal Service’s seventh consecutive year of reporting an annual loss — despite a 1.2 percent growth in 2008 due to gains in package delivery and standard mail. However, the slight increase in revenue just couldn’t offset the losses from the Postal Service’s 2.4 percent decline in first class mail — the agency’s most profitable sector.

“We’ve achieved some excellent results for the year in terms of innovations, revenue gains and cost reductions, but without major legislative changes, we cannot overcome the limitations of our inflexible business model,” said Patrick Donahoe, the USPS Postmaster General.

By “innovations,” Donahoe may be referring to USPS’s new deal with Amazon to ship off deliveries on Sunday. As more internet users rely on e-mail for communication, the USPS suffers — but the agency discovered a silver lining as online purchases began to boom. Their collaboration with the large online retailer might just be what the Postal Service needs to gain ground in the business.

The USPS Has A New Side Hustle: Selling Its Own Line of Clothing “Rain Heat & Snow”

February 20th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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AP Photo/David Goldman

AP Photo/David Goldman

You know we’re all about making a little extra money on the side. But the US Postal Service might be on the wrong route with this one.

As we know, the USPS is cutting Saturday service starting August 1 in an effort to save money. Now they’re branching out into fashion in an effort to bring in additional revenue. The agency has partnered with Ohio company Wahconah Group to create “Rain Heat & Snow,” a line that will start out exclusively for men and, according to The Verge, involve some sort of “wearable electronics.”

“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills is quoted saying.

Business Insider says the USPS will get a portion of the sales, and won’t have to spend any money on the line.

The men’s line will be available Spring 2014 and a women’s line will follow shortly after.

Other more logical suggestions for the USPS to make money have been shipping beer and offering check cashing services. On that last one, it seems that would make the most sense since you can already purchase a money order at the post office. Sometimes going with the more obvious option is the better decision.

U.S. Postal Service To Honor Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks On 100th Birthday

January 24th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Stamp of Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks

Stamp of Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks

The United States Postal Service has just debuted its Rosa Parks stamp. The Forever stamp featuring the civil rights icon will be officially released on February 4 in Michigan with two events.

One event, the National Day of Courage, will take place at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn with the Rosa Parks bus. In 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL bus to a white man, an action that helped push the civil rights movement into high gear.

There will also be events at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, held on what would have been Parks’ 100th birthday.  According to USA Today, the first Rosa Parks Forever stamps will be sold at the Wright museum. People in attendance at the two events will be able to purchase the first stamps issued, postmarked February 4 and canceled with Detroit or Dearborn postmarks.

Activist and former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, author and scholar Henry Louis Gates, and U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), will speak at the Henry Ford event. Rep. Conyers if from Detroit, and Parks worked as his secretary and receptionist from 1965 to 1988, . Former President Bill Clinton, who presented Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, will deliver a video message.

Parks died Oct. 24, 2005, in Detroit.

The Postal Service recently also commemorated the 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation with collector stamp, as we reported.

While the new Rosa Parks stamp is reason to celebrate, all the news coming out of USPS isn’t good.  As MadameNoire reported, the Postal Service has been slashing jobs, which may actually hurt the black middle class as a high percentage of USPS workers are African Americans.

In other Rosa Parks news, later this year she will become the first African American with a statue on Capitol Hill.  According to Vibe Vixen, “As part of an annual tradition, each state donates two statues of their most honorable citizens to Capitol Hill. Rosa Parks is one of those representing Alabama this year. “

Return To Sender: With Postal Jobs Disappearing, So Could The Black Middle Class

January 23rd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

The U.S. Postal Service has eliminated 168,000 jobs since 2006, and more cuts are expected. This could be significant to the African-American middle class. Why? A higher percentage of black workers have USPS jobs. According to a 2012 U.S. Department of Labor report, nearly one in five African-American workers have government jobs such as mail clerks, firefighters and teachers.

“African Americans make up about 20 percent of U.S. Postal Service workers – and are the majority in some urban centers, representing 75 percent to 80 percent of the 5,000 letter carriers in the Chicago area, according to Mack Julion, president of the Chicago branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers,” reports The Huffington Post.

The drastic cuts at the USPS, the country’s second-largest civilian employer after Wal-Mart with some 536,000 career workers, will directly affect its African-American workers. And as the black unemployment rate remains high — 14 percent, roughly double that of whites — it will be harder for African Americans to continue a middle-class lifestyle.

Historically, the postal service had less racial tension, which attracted many African Americans. According to Philip F. Rubio, author of There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality, in 1865, the U.S. Post Office opened to black workers. “It became a magnet for African Americans who gravitated to the one place where they could take the test and they knew once they got in and became career employees, they were set,” Rubio told the news site. And by World War I, African Americans made up 10 percent of the postal service’s work force.

A USPS position was considered — and still is — a “good job.” The national average annual salary of career employees who work directly with mail, such as letter carriers, is $53,000 to $55,000, reports HuffPo.

The Internet has caused staggering losses — $15.9 billion in fiscal year 2012 alone — for the postal service as more people are using electronic mail. “[T]he postal service is losing $25 million a day, by some estimates, and could run out of money by October,” writes HuffPo.

The U.S. Postal Service Honors The 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation

January 3rd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp

Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp

There are special exhibits across the country to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. And the U.S. Postal Service is honoring the milestone. The USPS recently announced a limited-edition stamp honoring the historic event.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed all those enslaved in Confederate territory to be forever free. The Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp is on sale at post offices nationwide, can be purchased online, and by phone at 800-Stamp24.

The new stamp is the first in a series of three Civil Rights stamps to be released in 2013. The remaining stamps in the series will pay tribute to Rosa Parks and the March on Washington. The Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp was designed by renowned graphic designer and former Rolling Stone magazine senior art director Gail Anderson, and art director Antonio Alcalá. A phrase taken from the historic document–“Henceforward Shall Be Free” — is featured on the stamp.

“Stamps often tap into our culture and help us remember the events and people who have had an impact on American history,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman in a press release. “The Emancipation Proclamation was a powerful symbol of President Lincoln’s determination to end the war, to end slavery, and to reconstruct the economy of the country without slave labor.”

This is not the first time that the USPS has paid homage to civil right events with special stamps. According to the release, in 2009, the organization released stamps featuring 12 civil rights pioneers including Mary Church Terrell and Mary White Ovington. And every year the USPS commemorates notable leaders and cultural milestones through other stamp collections, including the Black Heritage series and the American Treasures series.

Even the Emancipation Proclamation has been recognized by the USPS before. On August 16, 1963, the Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The stamp, states the release, was designed by George Olden, who was the first African American to design a U.S. postage stamp.

Will you collect the  Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp?

US Post Office Shutdowns = Less Jobs For Black Women

September 30th, 2011 - By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
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With additional reporting by Torri R. Oats

USPS Shutdown & Black Women

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is facing massive shutdowns because it is $10 billion in debt. As it is a main source of good jobs for black people, particularly black women, this could deeply impact our community. CNN reports that 120,000 jobs are on the line as the government considers layoffs and other measures to make up this billion dollar difference. Twenty-one percent of USPS workers are African-American and 37 percent are women, showing its potential impact on our community. Currently, USPS workers are fighting to stop these tremendous losses. As black unemployment is already twice the national average at about 17%, this is not a fight we can afford to lose.

How did this happen? The problems facing the USPS didn’t start overnight, and they are not related to the decline in people sending mail as is being promoted by the GOP.  In fact, one can point to a burdensome 2006 law that mandates the USPS to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits in just over ten years. It is worth noting that the USPS is the only federal agency affected by the law. The current struggle is the culmination of this ill-conceived legislation.

Critics of this law have compared this to a person being told suddenly that you have to pay your 30-year mortgage in five years, and then being threatened with foreclosure if you cannot come up with the cash overnight. Before the federal government began demanding these prefunding payments, which amount to billions of dollars a year, the USPS was actually profitable. Now, all of a sudden the Postmaster General has been forced to lay out a dire scenario to Congress which could result in the firing of thousands of workers and closing thousands of facilities — not to mention cutting back on basics like Saturday service.

Some activists believe this crisis is being “manufactured,” according to The Huffington Post, with the intention of dismantling the USPS so it can be privatized for the benefit of cut-throat companies with no interest in serving the public good.