USPS stamp honoring Bayard Rustin in the worksAround the City Thursday, January 16th, 2014
The openly gay organizer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Bayard Rustin may be the next openly gay American to have a United States postage stamp issued in his honor.
The official launch of the Bayard Rustin USA/National Stamp Campaign will be announced at the 2014 Creating Change Conference (Jan. 29-Feb. 2, Houston) by Walter Naegle, who was Rustin’s partner. Naegle was recently a guest at the White House, where he accepted the Medal of Freedom on behalf of his late partner from President Barack Obama. Rustin died in 1987.
The idea for a full-throttle campaign to win approval for a stamp honoring Bayard Rustin as an openly gay, African American civil rights icon has been talked about for years. But the movement finally gained real traction in San Diego with the help of San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez who will serve as the campaign’s executive director. The International Imperial Court System (sometimes thought of as the Rotary Club of the gay community) and its Imperial Court Council, along with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force are the guiding forces behind the campaign. That is the same team that, with the help of Stuart Milk, the nephew of slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk, made the Harvey Milk stamp happen.
National co-sponsors of the campaign include the National Black Justice Coalition, the National LGBT Museum and the GLBT Historic Task Force.
Anyone wishing to jump in early on the letter-writing campaign to make the Bayard Rustin stamp a reality can write to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee c/o Stamp Development, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza S.W., Room 3300, Washington D.C. 20260-3501.
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