Since the founding of the United States, African Americans have played a pivotal role in American history and heritage. This series of exhibits showcases the black experience in the United States through the lens of American postage stamps.
African-Americans have played a pivotal role in the development of educational practices and institutions, not just for fellow African-Americans, but for all Americans.
W.E.B. Du Bois was a critic, editor, scholar, author, civil rights leader, and one of the most influential African-Americans of both the 19th and 20th centuries. He is often called the “father of social science” for his trail-blazing approach to studying social systems and phenomena. He was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, and he served for 25 years as the editor-inchief of the NAACP’s Crisis magazine.
Through the NAACP's "The Crisis", Du Bois drew the critical eye of the nation and Congress to the horrors of lynching and the mistreatment of returning black soldiers from World War I. In later years, Du Bois turned his attention to the global issues of race and the Pan-African Movement.
An anthropologist and educator, Dr. Allison Davis served the Johnson and Nixon administrations as a member of the President’s Commission on Civil Rights and as the vice chairman of the Department of Labor’s Commission on Manpower Retraining. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education.
The National Postal Museum extends thanks to the United States Postal Service and to its employees who assisted in the creation of this exhibit: Angelo Wider, Roy Betts, Michael Tidwell, Sheryl Turner, Robert Faruq, Meg Ausman, and Pamela Hyman.
Many of the subjects appearing in this exhibit and on U.S. stamps in general are suggested by the public. Each year, the Postal Service receives from the American public thousands of letters proposing stamp subjects. Every stamp suggestion meeting criteria is considered, regardless of who makes it or how it is presented.
To learn more about the stamp selection process, visit the following link to the Postal Service's web site: