CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Gwen Ifill

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS

The Greenville Standard

 

Since 1976, America has celebrated February as Black History Month.

Since 1940, the United States Post Office (USPO) has been issuing stamps featuring important African American leaders, pioneers, and events.

Now, each year, the USPO issues a Black Heritage Month Forever Stamp.

The 2020 Black Heritage Month Stamp was released on Jan. 30, and this year’s stamp features journalist Gwen Ifill.

According to a Jan. 29 NPR article titled “Journalist Gwen Ifill Honored With Black Heritage Forever Stamp,” Ifill was selected for this distinguished honor, in part, because of breakthroughs she made in the field of journalism.

“Ifill started out writing for newspapers at a time when it was rare to have a black woman in the newsroom — the late 1970s,” states the aforementioned article, which was written by Vanessa Romo.

According to the article, Ifill started in print journalism. She worked at such publications as “The Boston Globe,” “Baltimore Evening Sun,” “The New York Times,” and “The Washington Times.”

Eventually, Ifill transitioned to broadcast journalism. In that field, she worked for PBS on such programs as “Washington Week in Review,” “PBS NewsHour,” “Meet the Nation,” and “Inside Washington.”

Ifill’s specialty was covering politics, and she was the first African-American woman to moderate a vice-presidential debate.

She also became a writer; her first published book was titled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which was published on Jan. 20, 2009.

Over her lifetime, Ifill racked up numerous awards and distinctions for her work in the field of journalism.

Regrettably, Ifill was diagnosed with breast and endometrial cancer, from which she passed away on Nov. 14, 2016.

She was 61 years old at the time of her death.

Ifill’s stamp is the 43rd in the series for the Black Heritage Month Forever Stamp.

 

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