Toni Morrison

With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates Toni Morrison (1931–2019), whose artfully crafted novels explored the diverse voices and multifaceted experiences of African Americans.

The stamp art is a photograph taken in the year 2000.

Eager to see the previously untold stories of African American women portrayed in fiction, Morrison published her first novel, The Bluest Eye in 1970. The book remains a canonical novel about the damage of internalized racism and society’s neglect and mistreatment of African American girls and has become a mainstay of high school and college literature classes.

Morrison would achieve further success with Sula, her 1973 novel that dramatizes the relationship between two childhood friends. Song of Solomon, published in 1977, was both a national bestseller and a recipient of tremendous critical acclaim for its portrayal of the African American search for identity. Her 1981 novel Tar Baby was a study of racism and conflicting identities on a Caribbean island.

In 1987, the publication of Beloved brought Morrison a new level of critical success. The acclaimed novel tells the story of a woman who escapes enslavement but murders her own daughter to prevent her from being returned to slavery. A harrowing rumination on trauma and the lingering, even haunting nature of the past, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize and firmly secured Morrison’s reputation as a great American writer.

In 1989, Morrison became the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. In 1993, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first African American woman to receive the distinction.

Morrison was the rare author who achieved both bestseller status and critical success. In her later novels, including Paradise (1998), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008), Home (2012), and God Help the Child (2015), she continued to experiment with language and push the possibilities of storytelling.

Art director Ethel Kessler designed this stamp with a photograph by Deborah Feingold.

The Toni Morrison stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in panes of 20. This Forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

Product Specification:
Issue:Toni Morrison Stamp
Item Number:483100
Denomination &First-Class Mail Forever
Type of Issue:
Format:Pane of 20 (1 design)
Issue Date & City:March 7, 2023, Princeton, NJ, 08540
Art Director:Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Designer:Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Existing Photo:Deborah Feingold
Modeler:Sandra Lane / Michelle Finn
Manufacturing Process:Offset, Microprint
Printer:Banknote Corporation of America
Press Type:Gallus RCS
Stamps per Pane:20
Print Quantity:30,000,000 stamps
Paper Type:Phosphor Tagged Paper, Block
Adhesive Type:Pressure-sensitive
Colors:Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation:Square
Image Area (w x h):1.085 x 1.085 in / 27.559 x 27.559 mm
Overall Size (w x h):1.225 x 1.225 in / 31.115 x 31.115 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h):5.90 x 7.12 in / 149.86 x 180.848 mm
Press Sheets Size (w x h):11.80 x 21.36 in / 299.72 x 542.544 mm
Plate Size:120 stamps per revolution
Plate Number:“B” followed by four (4) single digits
Marginal Markings:
Front:Plate number in four corners of pane
Back:©2022 USPS • USPS logo • Two barcodes (483100) • Plate position diagram (6) • Promotional text
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