Preservation of African American Spaces

We are excited to see the initiative to preserve African American Spaces. In his article about Historic Preservation, Brent Leggs states, “Along with elevating forgotten places, we aim to reveal the hidden, and sometimes willfully obscured, layers of history at all historic sites”. Below are some of the organizations that may benefit from this project. 

Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
A non-profit organization that honors the accomplishments and history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Promotes, researches, preserves, interprets and disseminates information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

National Great Blacks In Wax Museum
This museum is committed solely to the study and preservation of African American history. Visitors report that this museum is the most unique and dynamic black history experience.

Idaho Black History Museum
This museum, one of few in the state of Idaho, exhibits, provides educational and outreach programs, and maintains a speakers bureau.


We should never forget that it takes a team to execute our best ideas and produce effective change. Furthermore, to portray accomplished African-Americans in an accurate and creative light we need the artists.

Barbara Higgins Bond is an artist and designs some of the artwork in the stamps we share on this page. The first African-American female to illustrate a United States postage stamp, she has created outstanding designs for three Black Heritage issues: Jan E. Matzeliger, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Percy Lavon Julian.

Higgins Bond earned her bachelor of fine arts from Memphis College of Art. A versatile artist whose work has attracted national attention, Higgins Bond (as she’s known professionally) has been an illustrator and commercial artist for close to 40 years. Her images have appeared in children’s books and on magazine and book covers, posters, album covers, and collectors’ plated created for such prominent clients as Anheuser-Busch, McGraw-Hill, Essence magazine, the Franklin Mint, The Bradford Exchange, NBC, Hennessy Cognac, Frito-Lay, and Columbia House. She also is an adjunct professor of illustration at the Nossi College of Art in Nashville, where she lives. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Du Sable Museum of African-American History have exhibited her work.

She has received prestigious honors including a medal of honor from then-Governor Bill Clinton. She also has illustrated four stamps for the United Nations Postal Administration. Higgins Bond was the keynote speaker at ESPER’s 25th anniversay in 2013.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we start the year, we have been recognizing and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. – one of the most inspirational people of our time. The civil rights leader left a legacy that we are still striving to achieve.  The stamp below was issued January 13, 1979. He is the second stamp in the Black Heritage Series. Click the links to see a brief video and information about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

MLK Recognition


Exhibit – Freedom Just Around the Corner

I had an opportunity to see the exhibit – Freedom Just Around the Corner- at the National Postal Museum. Nice to see items on the Smithsonian website.
“U.S. postage stamps were in use for nearly a century before Booker T. Washington became the first African American to appear on one. A handful of additional black history-related designs appeared between 1940 and 1978, when the U.S. Postal Service introduced the Black Heritage series. Today the Black Heritage issues are the longest-running U.S. stamp series”

Thurgood Marshall

Image may contain: 1 person

Black Heritage Series

The American Philatelic Society (APS) has updated the Black Heritage Series document. Here is a brief history from their site to give you some background on this commemorative series.

“At a 1975 planning meeting of the Queens County, New York, Bicentennial Committee, Clarence L. Irving, founder of the Black American Heritage Foundation (BAHF), proposed asking the U.S. Postal Service to include black Americans in the stamp program associated with the upcoming Bicentennial of the United States. The proposal quickly outgrew its original scope, and in 1978, the U.S. Postal Service, as part of its mission “to celebrate the people, events, and cultural milestones that are unique to our great nation,” created a totally new stamp series to honor black Americans and the vital role they have played in U.S. history.

The first stamp in the new Black Heritage Series featured Harriet Tubman (1820–1913). Born a slave, she helped more than 300 slaves escape to freedom along the fabled “Underground Railroad.” Tubman was the first African American woman to appear on a U.S. stamp. Subsequent honorees have included scientists, politicians, educators, authors, actors/singers, and athletes, among many others.”

In 2018 we will be highlighting the individuals in this series in celebration of 40 years – 1978-2018 

October is National Stamp Collecting Month

We have to honor Booker T. Washington, the first African American on a U.S. Postage Stamp – April 7, 1940. “Born a slave in Hale’s Ford, Virginia, Washington served as a role model for other struggling African-Americans, and, as founder of Alabama’s Tuskegee Normal Industrial School (renamed Tuskegee Institute in 1937), he profoundly influenced the community’s self-esteem and self-reliance. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, responding to numerous petitions from African-American supporters, recognized the timeliness of such a stamp and directed that Washington be considered for this important stamp series.”



In 1956 another stamp was issued in his honor


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