Maya Angelou deserves better than this

I understand how the wrong quote ended up on the Maya Angelou postage stamp, I really do. Poetry isn’t my thing, I’ve never read her work, and I might have made the same mistake.  What I can’t comprehend is why doing right by this preeminent poet is so hard.

Credit: Dave Itzkoff, via Twitter

One does not have to appreciate poetry to understand that a writer who deserves her own stamp deserves her own work on that stamp.

One does not have to be a woman to wonder if the United States Postal Service would allow this mistake to turn into disrespect if she were a man.

One does not have to be a person of color to wonder why, when we are trying so hard to recognize that not everyone who has done amazing things in this country was white, we can’t take the time, and spend the money, to reissue this stamp.  It can be with a quote of Angelou’s, or at the very least, with proper credit for Joan Walsh Anglund, whose line of poetry, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song, ” has apparently been misattributed to Angelou for years.

Therefore, I did something about it, but it won’t be worth much unless I can get a hundred thousand like-minded individuals to help by signing the petition that calls for this mistake to be fixed.  Because making  mistake is human, but coming up with excuses not to make it right is just pathetic.

Please sign, share, reblog, and put up a stink.  Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Maya Angelou deserves better than this

  1. Why does there need to be an online petition? Once the mistake had been pointed out – and don’t they have proofers and copy editors attached to this project? – shouldn’t it be an automatic thing to fix the mistake? I’m horrified that they’re going forward and just printing these stamps.


  2. How in the flipping hell did this make it to print? While granted I would have *loved* to hear her speak that quote (because, oh, gods) at the same time, what in the actual fuck? There really ought not be anything more than, “oops, we fucked up, fixing it, our bad!” with this.

    Pardon me while I go fume . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Er, for clarity’s sake: I’d love to have heard her say the quote here, *not* the quote she’s being misquoted with. Use all your words, Jo . . .

      Liked by 1 person

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