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Feb 8, 2018
HCC Hosts 11th Annual Stamp Dedication
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) hosted the 11th annual Stamp Dedication ceremony on February 6.

More than 100 people attended the unveiling of the Lena Horne commemorative stamp. Several local leaders participated, including Vernon Bryant, a Roanoke Rapids Commissioner, Tammy Jenkins, the Postmaster of the Weldon Post Office, Carlotta Banks from the district office of the USPS in Greensboro, and Bettie Ballard, the first vice president of the Enfield-Roanoke Valley Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

During the celebration, Dr. Michael Elam, president of HCC, spoke of Ms. Horne and her efforts to change the world around her for the better. “Lena Horne will always be remembered for her voice, her beauty, and her unwavering commitment to social justice and equal rights for all," he said.

As a special tribute to Ms. Horne and her efforts, two members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority sang a duet of Horne’s now famous “Stormy Weather." Jovita Menefee and Sharon Peele channeled the crooning style of Horne to pay homage to their honorary soror.

After the unveiling of the stamp, a video was played featuring each stamp included in the Black Heritage Stamp Collection. Started in 1978, the collection includes such notable names as Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Elam, discussing those honored in the stamp collection, recognized the hardships and struggles that each faced. “Each person represented in this video did what they were told was impossible, and they never let bitterness stand in their way," Elam said. “Ms. Horne’s addition keeps that same tradition alive. If she were here today, I believe Ms. Horne would share the same words that she shared more than 30 years ago: ‘It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. Carry it by the comfortable handles of gratitude for what's positive and that it is not worse, rather than the uncomfortable edges of bitterness for the negatives and that it is not better.’"

The 41st stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Lena Horne (1917-2010), the singer and actress who became an activist, fighting for racial equality with grace and elegance. Most known for such timeless classics as Stormy Weather and Cabin in the Sky, Ms. Horne used her fame to advocate for an end to segregation and racial divide that plagued the country. She began her career in the famed Cotton Club in Harlem, and soon after took Hollywood by storm. In 1984, she was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors for the Arts for her monumental career, and in 2006 was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

The stamp art features a photograph taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s. The black and white image was colorized by Kristen Monthei. The stamp was designed by art director Ethel Kessler.

The HCC Black History Month Celebration will continue on Thursday, February 15, with a Salute to our African American Heroes, which will begin at 11 a.m. The program will also include the presentation of the inaugural Community Bridge Builder awards, presented to individuals and organizations who work to unify our community. The public is invited to attend this event free of charge. The schedule of events can be found at http://www.halifaxcc.edu/Calendar/ or call 252-536-7234 or 252-536-7239 for details.
Lena Horne
Lena Horne
stamp ceremony
Members of the Enfield-Roanoke Valley chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, along with Michael Felt, Dr. Michael A. Elam, and Tammy Jenkins, Postmaster for the Town of Weldon.
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Media Contact: Molly Wallace, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, mwallace786@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319