The person featured on the 2017 Black Heritage stamp was Dorothy Height (1912-2010). She fought long and hard for the rights of women, especially women of colour. Height helped to form the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. She was the leader of the National Council of Negro Women when they joined the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. She stood behind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. Among the honours awarded to her were the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2004).
Lena Horne (1917-2010) was featured on the 2018 stamp. She helped break racial barriers by changing the way black women were represented in film, refusing to play roles that stereotyped African American women. One of the most popular African American entertainers of the twentieth century, she was known for her parts in films such as ‘Cabin in the Sky’ and ‘The Wiz’ as well as her trademark song, “Stormy Weather”, during her sixty-year career performing Lena Horne electrified audiences with her beauty and fine voice. She used her fame to fight social injustices toward African-Americans, working with civil rights groups.
Gregory Hines (1946-2003) was the subject in 2019. He was an American tap dancer, actor and choreographer who was a major figure in the revival of tap dancing in the late 20th century. Gregory Hines began dancing as a child and went on to launch a successful Broadway, television and film career. His notable movies include The Cotton Club and White Nights. In addition to his work on the dance and theatre stage, in film and on television, Hines’ wide-ranging career also included making a 1987 album called Gregory Hines, and writing forewords for the books “Brotherhood in Rhythm” about the careers of the fantastic tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers.