Quote On New Maya Angelou "Forever" Stamp Belongs To Poet Joan Walsh Anglund, Not Maya Angelou (Oops)

From L to R, Eleanor Traylor, English Graduate Professor of English at Howard University, poet Nikki Giovanni, US First Lady Michelle Obama, Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Oprah Winfrey and artist Ross Rossin stand under a projection of the Maya Angelou Forever Stamp at its unveiling at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC, on April 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Well, this story is pretty awkward. According to the Washington Post, the quote on the new Maya Angelou "Forever" stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office doesn't belong to Maya Angelou. It belongs to poet Joan Walsh Anglund. And in case you're keeping score, Joan Walsh Anglund and Maya Angelou aren't the same person.

Let's start at the beginning: On March 4, the USPS revealed the new Angelou "Forever" stamp bearing a picture of the writer with the quote, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." It's a gorgeous sentiment — something that sounds right up Angelou's alley. In fact, it's been widely attributed to her; President Obama even gave her credit for the words during his presentation of the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. But the day before the stamp was to be unveiled, Anglund, the 89-year-old children's book author, confirmed the quote as hers, saying it originally appeared with one slight pronoun tweak in her 1967 book of poems, A Cup of Sun.

Because Angelou has been associated with the quote for so long, a spokesperson for the USPS said he didn't know about Anglund's original quote, and wrote in an email that they would have gone a different route had they known. I would hope so! Maybe one of these 10 Maya Angelou quotes would have done the trick.

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