Black Heritage Forever stamp honors journalist

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The Gwen Ifill Black Heritage Commemorative Forever Stamp is seen by distinguished guests during a Postal Service unveiling ceremony at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Thursday, Jan. 30, in Washington. (AP Photo/Michael A. McCoy)

The US Postal Service honored pioneering journalist Gwen Ifill with a Black Heritage Forever stamp on Jan. 30, just days before the start of Black History Month in February.

The stamp is the 43rd Black Heritage Stamp in the Postal Service’s series dedicated to honoring African American individuals and their contributions to the country.

Ifill was the first African American woman to host a major political talk show. She hosted PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” from Oct. 1, 1999, until her death in November 2016.

“Gwen Ifill was a remarkable trailblazer who broke through gender and racial barriers,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman in a press release. “The Postal Service is proud to celebrate Gwen’s contribution as a remarkable journalist with this beautiful commemorative Forever stamp. Gwen was truly a national treasure, and so richly deserving of today’s honor.”

Ifill covered seven presidential campaigns during her career and became the first African-American female journalist to moderate a vice-presidential debate in 2004. She was a part of the first all-female team to anchor a daily national broadcast news show.

Ifill’s honors include the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award (2006), Harvard’s Shorenstein Center’s Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism (2009) and induction into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame (2012).

“The Ifill family is thrilled that our sister, cousin and aunt has received this signal tribute to her legacy as a truth-teller, pioneer and exemplar,” said Bert Ifill, Gwen’s brother, in a statement. “As a reporter and moderator, Gwen was dedicated to two principles: getting the story right and getting the right stories out. As a mentor, supportive friend and family member, she was determined, not only to open doors for those of us previously locked out of opportunity, but also to provide floor plans to help us find our way through. She is forever in our hearts, and we are forever in her debt.”

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