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Black History on Stamps
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
For most of us, February is Black History Month, but for some stamp collectors, black
history is all year long.
"I like the whole idea of — the fact that a particular person may be on a stamp and
what they've done"
Mani Gilyard is president of the ESPER stamp society.
"We essentially try to promote the collecting of African-American stamps, domestic and
foreign, promote the concept of stamp collecting, which is the largest hobby in the
Each year since 1978, the Postal Service issues a Black Heritage stamp, but Gilyard's
favorite is from before that -- Booker T. Washington in the Famous Americans series.
"It came out in 1940, when postage was three cents an ounce for first-class mail, and
this was a ten-cent stamp"
Which was a lot of money back then.
"In my neighborhood, you can rent an apartment for $35 a week, so a 10-cent stamp was
very, very expensive" :08
Still, it was one of the best-selling stamps of that series.
"It's the first African-American person — acknowledged African-American person — on
a stamp" :06
One of the Founding Fathers may have been of mixed race.
"Many people consider Alexander Hamilton coming from the Caribbean to be of African
descent, and he would precede Booker T." :07
Most years, the Postal Service honors more than one African-American, but Gilyard says
there are plenty more subjects such as...
"There are many, many, many inventors" :03
You can find out more about ESPER and black history on stamps at ESPER-stamps-dot-org.
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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