The Maya Angelou Stamp Looks Like Her But Doesn’t Sound Like Her

The late poet extraordinaire, Maya Angelou was feted in DC on Tuesday during a ceremony that officially unveiled a stamp that was initiated in her honor. The affair was attended by the likes of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey as both ladies gave stirring speeches to remind us why Angelou is worthy of being added to a revered American institution.


As humbled as Angelou would have been to have her very own stamp assigned to her, she may have not been psyched to realize that the phrase used to accompany her image actually belong to someone else. The text which reads, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” was actually dreamed up by another author Joan Walsh Anglund from her 1967 book, A Cup of Sun. But of course, Angelou who is famous for her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the caged Bird Sings could have easily uttered the words she was bequeathed with but unfortunately due diligence failed to capture the reality that she didn’t.

So now it’s back to the drawing board as they say. Anglund for her part, is shocked mistake wasn’t intercepted before the stamp was made public, but for most it shows how carelessly we handle the ones who deserve our precise attention.