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Jan. 24, 2014
United States Postal Service® Stamp Dedication kicks off 2014 Lyceum Series of Special Events at HCC
WELDON, N.C. – Kicking off activities for the 2014 Lyceum Series of Special Events at Halifax Community College (HCC) will be a United States Postal Service® (USPS) Stamp Dedication on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. in The Centre. The event is free and open to the public. This year, stamps in honor of Ray Charles, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Althea Gibson and the 1963 March on Washington will be presented.

The USPS proudly honors inspiring musician Ray Charles with a stamp, one of several that inaugurates the Music Icons series. This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included "I've Got a Woman," "Georgia on My Mind" and "I Can't Stop Loving You."

The stamp art features an image of Charles, taken later in his career, by photographer Yves Carrère. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the sheet includes the stamps and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. A larger version of the photograph featured on the stamp and the logo for the Music Icons series appear on the reverse side. Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the stamp sheet with designer Neal Ashby.

Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed to be little Charles couldn't do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. Countless other prizes include the Polar Music Prize in 1998; the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993; and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ray Charles performed for seven presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.

The Ray Charles stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate. Issue Date: Sept. 23, 2013.

On Oct. 10, 2013, the USPS announced that former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm will be the 2014 inductee to the Black Heritage stamp series.

Chisholm won a seat in the New York State General Assembly in 1964, was the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968, and in 1969 was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1972, she was the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, which also cemented her as the first African American to be considered for the presidential nomination by a major national political party. Chisholm’s legislative work centered around her advocacy for civil rights, women’s rights and the poor.

Chisholm joins a number of pivotal historical figures for the Black Heritage stamp series, including the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes and W. E. B. Du Bois.

The Althea Gibson Forever® is the 36th stamp in the Black Heritage series. It honors Althea Gibson (1927-2003), a pioneering tennis player who became the first black Wimbledon champion. The tall, lean Gibson was fast, had a long reach, and relied on a booming serve and precise volleys. She blazed a trail for a future generation of African-American players, such as Arthur Ashe and sisters, Venus and Serena Williams.

The oil-on-wood painting featured on the stamp is based on a photograph—taken at Wimbledon—of Gibson bending down to hit a low volley. The first black tennis player to win one of the four major singles tournaments, Gibson helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement. She twice won Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships (now known as the U.S. Open) and became the top-ranked player in the world.

Designed by Derry Noyes, the stamp features the artwork of Kadir Nelson. The Althea Gibson stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Issue Date: Aug. 23, 2013.

With this 2013 stamp, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 50th anniversary of the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The highlight of the event — in which some 250,000 people participated — was the powerful "I Have a Dream" speech that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The stamp art shows marchers against the background of the Washington Monument with placards calling for equal rights and jobs for all. Using broad strokes and painting in oil on gessoed illustration board, the artist conveys an impressionistic effect of the historic occasion. The 1963 March on Washington stamp was the last of three stamps issued in 2013 in a civil rights set. The first in the set commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the second commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks. An inspiring word appears in large type in the selvage of each sheet: "Freedom" for the Emancipation Proclamation; "Courage" for Rosa Parks; and, "Equality" for The 1963 March on Washington. Art director Antonio Alcalá worked with illustrator Greg Manchess to produce this important commemorative stamp.

The March on Washington was a milestone in the civil rights movement. King called it "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." Bayard Rustin, the main organizer of the event, observed, "What made the march was that black people voted that day with their feet." It gave African Americans "an identity which is a part of the national struggle in this country for the extension of democracy."

Less than a year after the march, Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which desegregated public institutions and outlawed job discrimination. Soon thereafter, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which provided for federal oversight of voting rights in the South, became the law of the land.

The 1963 March on Washington stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Issue Date: Aug. 23, 2013

More details on these stamps can be found at https://www.usps.com/.

For more information on the 2014 HCC Lyceum Series of Special Events, call 252-536-7239, 252-536-7234 or visit www.halifaxcc.edu. This event is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education PBI Formula Grant.

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Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239