New Stamp to Honor Virginia Poet & Civil Rights Leader Anne Spencer

Photographic portrait of Virginia African-American writer Anne B. Spencer in her wedding dress, 1900. From an archive collected by James Weldon and Carl Van Vechten. Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

A poet and civil rights activist from Lynchburg, Virginia, will be honored in the U.S. Postal Service’s 2020 Forever stamp series.

Anne Spencer, who died in 1975, is included in the recently unveiled “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance” series.

In a news release, the USPS says the set of 20 stamps pays homage to “one of the great artistic and literary movements in American history.”

The News & Advance reports that Spencer enrolled at what’s now the Virginia University of Lynchburg at 11 years old when she was barely literate and graduated six years later as valedictorian. She went on to become a poet, librarian and contemporary of African-American artists and political leaders.

Spencer also helped found the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP in 1918.