We are delighted to announce this morning that the 36th stamp in the Black Heritage series will honor Althea Gibson (1927–2003), a pioneering tennis player who helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement. The first African American to win one of the four major singles tournaments, Gibson twice captured Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships (now known as the U.S. Open) and became the top-ranked player in the world.
Designed by Derry Noyes, the stamp features an oil-on-wood painting of Gibson by artist Kadir Nelson. The art is based on a photograph—taken at Wimbledon—of the tall and lean Gibson bending down to hit a low volley. By capturing her in action, Nelson’s portrait emphasizes Gibson’s extraordinary grace and athleticism.
The Althea Gibson stamp will be issued later this year as a Forever® stamp in sheets of 20 self-adhesive stamps. (Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.) A release date has not yet been set. Follow us on Facebook to be the first to find out when this and other 2013 stamps will be released.