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BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004

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Janice in NJ 02 Oct 03 - 05:28 PM
Greg F. 02 Oct 03 - 06:25 PM
bflat 02 Oct 03 - 10:44 PM
EBarnacle1 02 Oct 03 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,pdq 02 Oct 03 - 11:51 PM
mack/misophist 03 Oct 03 - 01:22 AM
Janice in NJ 03 Oct 03 - 10:31 AM
mack/misophist 03 Oct 03 - 10:59 AM
Ron Olesko 03 Oct 03 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,pdq 03 Oct 03 - 12:30 PM
Ron Olesko 03 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 03 - 01:37 PM
Ron Olesko 03 Oct 03 - 01:54 PM
Janice in NJ 04 Oct 03 - 12:08 AM
ard mhacha 04 Oct 03 - 05:30 AM
mack/misophist 04 Oct 03 - 06:37 PM

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Subject: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 02 Oct 03 - 05:28 PM

This is not a joke, a FOAF, a rumor, or an urban legend! The US Postal Service announced this past Monday that singer, actor, and outspoken activitst Paul Robeson will appear on a 37-cent stamp to be issued in January 2004. Click below to view the design:

Paul Robeson stamp

I know that the White House does not have a direct hand in choosing the subjects, let alone the actual designs, for US stamps. That is done by the Postmaster General upon the recommendation of something called the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Council -- there was an episode of the TV show The West Wing which explained the process -- but I am certain that either the President or Congress could block a particular stamp if they really wanted to. I just hope that GW and the boys/girls on the Hill leave well enough alone this time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Oct 03 - 06:25 PM

And long, long overdue.

I don't think even Dumbya & his Junta are stupid enough to attempt to block this..............

Um, well, err, let me think about that ........


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: bflat
Date: 02 Oct 03 - 10:44 PM

A few years ago I wrote, along with many others, to the Postmaster General to encourage such action. While it is only conjucture, snail mail may be the reason for the delay of the petitions to Mr. Robeson's posthumous honor. Well deserved for such an extraordinary man.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 02 Oct 03 - 11:37 PM

It's about time. I've been working for this for years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 02 Oct 03 - 11:51 PM

Janice in NJ- Are you so insecure that you need to take a poke at President Bush over a stamp? Clinton had eight years and did absolutely nothing positive. Maybe you should stick it to Clinton since he obviously did not see a reason for this stamp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: mack/misophist
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:22 AM

Judging by the image they chose for the stamp, Bush and company have already had their say. Robeson was much better looking than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 10:31 AM

I did a little research and found out that no US president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has been directly involved in choosing the subjects or designs for postage stamps. Apparently FDR was very involved, and that upset so many people that subsequent Presidents have shied away. Members of Congress, on the other hand, would try so hard to influence stamp subjects and designs, often successfully, so much that it became a real problem. That's why in 1971, when the US Postal Service became an independent federally-owned corporation, it created the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Council to insulate itself from Congressional pressure. All requests, whether from members of Congress or the general public, were referred to the CSAC. Even requests from the White House would go there.

The role of the CSAC is only advisory, and it only extends to subject matter. They have nothing to do with design. The Postmaster General makes the final decisions about both subject matter and design, and can overrule the CSAC, but usually doesn't. That's why, despite protests from many members of Congress, Frida Kahlo appeared on a US stamp in 2001. Kahlo was a Trotskyite Communist and a Mexican national, not even a US citizen, and most of her important art work was done in Mexico, although she did do some in the USA.

Possibly the only time the Postmaster General went against the advice of the CSAC was when the US Postal Service issued the Elvis Presley stamp in 1993. The CSAC had repeatedly rejected Elvis as a subject, but the PMG ordered that the stamp be issued anyway.

Of course, Congress can still pass a law either mandating the Postal Service to issue a particular stamp, as it did with the Breast Cancer charity fundraising stamp in 1998, or prohibitting it from issuing one, but it never has. I strongly doubt that it will this time. But don't be shocked if the same voices who objected to Frida Kahlo two years ago are heard from again regarding the Paul Robeson stamp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: mack/misophist
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 10:59 AM

As someone who once collected stamps, I think Janice in NJ is slightly off about FDR. The story I've always heard is that the Postmaster General, knowing the pres was an avid collector, tried hard to issue beautifus, colorful, and interesting stamps. A quick look through the catalog shows that he was sucessful. In comparison, today's stamps are drab and ugly, not to mention amaturish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 11:00 AM

FDR was an avid stamp collector which was the main reason he was involved in design.

I do not recall any stamp ever being pulled back once it was announced, so let the howls of protest begin. It will only show true colors. I'm really looking forward to this stamp! It is about time!!!!

Why did PDQ have to bring up Clinton? Is he so insecure about GW that he had to try to deflect the joke?


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 12:30 PM

OK, Ron, I have great respect for your posts. However, I see no joke here, unless it is an inside joke for people who watch West Wing. I don't. Robeson is respected by most Americans and is welcome on a stamp. So is Woody, same for Charlie Chaplin. Conservative people really want good role models for black and other minority youth, and political affiliation is not that important. IMHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM

PDQ - I think we are both missing something here.   I'm not sure what you are getting at.   I too have consider Robeson, Guthrie & Chaplin to be great role models and I love the fact that all three are now honored on U.S. postage stamps - after all three were vilified by witch hunts. (Guthrie was probably the least effected however.)

My previous comment was based on your earlier post where you brought up Bill Clinton.   I don't think Janice was taking a poke at GW at all in her first post - she was merely HOPING that conservatives do not take exception to Robeson being honored on a stamp.   You chose to bring up Clinton's record and his "lack of action" on a stamp. That would be like me blaming Calvin Coolidge for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

For the record, I can't stand West Wing - too pompous and self-righteous for my taste, even if I do agree with their politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:37 PM

Does issuing this stamp imply some kind of apology by the US Government for the way Robeson was treated?

If it does that is very admirable, especially at a time when it needs to be said loud and clear that criticising your country and your Government when you think it is wrong is an act of patriotism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:54 PM

Not exactly an "official" apology, but read into it what you will. Robeson's story is remarkable because he became an outcast to a variety of people.   The FBI and State Department had well documented cases, but in the early 50's Robeson was also shunned by prominent black leaders because he was a liability.   It should also be noted the the U.S. Supreme Court forced the State Department to return Robeson's passport.   Robeson's story was very complex.

The fact that a Paul Robeson stamp was not scuttled is indeed a sign that free speech is not dead yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 12:08 AM

Misophist, I am not off regarding FDR. He actually had a hand in designing several US stamps. Here is what I found at the Smithsonian - National Postal Museum website:

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) was unique among United States presidents and is remembered and respected for his strong yet compassionate leadership during the Great Depression and World War II. Despite the strain of such continuing political and economic crises, the 32nd President of the United States (1933-45) pursued his lifelong interest in collecting stamps. FDR sketched the original designs for several United States stamps issued during his time in office.

President Roosevelt's stamp designs reveal a great deal about the events that occupied his attention as well as his personal stamp collecting interests. Though not an artist, he had an above-average knowledge of the elements of design, and he knew what would be pleasing to him as a stamp collector. This exhibit showcases the postage stamps bearing President Franklin Roosevelt's designs along with other items from his personal philatelic collection. These objects offer a fresh perspective of one of our nation's most esteemed leaders.


Here's the website address if you want to see for yourself:

http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/fdr/panel1.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 05:30 AM

God bless his memory, and I think Paul looks well on the stamp.
Long overdue a great man and what a voice, Paul is still "rolling along" on my turntable. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Robeson on US stamp in 2004
From: mack/misophist
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 06:37 PM

To Janice in NJ: My apologies. More power to him, though. IMHO, US postage stamps have gone to hell since those days and especially since they got those damn photo lith presses.* Bring back the engravers!

If I remember correctly, the first photo lith stamp was a 3 color 8¢ air mail stamp that was impressive. Within a year they were issuing crap.


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