Smithsonian African American History Museum Gets Own Stamp

by: Lenore T. Adkins Special to the AFRO
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The United States Postal Service will immortalize the Smithsonian National Museum of African American and Culture on a Forever stamp slated to be issued next week. On Oct. 13, the USPS will hold a dedication ceremony at the museum. The stamps will be available across the nation the same day.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture Forever Stamp. (Courtesy image)

“Black history is inseparable from American history, and the Black experience represents a profound and unique strand of the American story,” the U.S. Postal Service said in their announcement. “This stamp issuance recognizes the richness of that experience by celebrating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.”

The stamp comes nearly a year after the institution, the 19th Smithsonian museum, opened on the National Mall – the museum celebrated its first anniversary on Sept. 24. In that year, nearly 3 million people visited the museum. “What’s really clear is that people need to find a place where they can understand history, that they can get the facts, places where they feel free to have the conversations,” National Museum of African American History and Culture Director Lonnie Bunch told NPR host Michele Martin, Sept. 23. “We’ve noticed a great movement towards the museum in a way that’s made the museum both a symbol and a metaphor.”

The stamp itself is based on a photograph of the museum that shows a view of its northwest corner. The upper-left corner reads “National Museum of African American History and Culture.”

The museum is the only national museum that focuses exclusively on Black life, art, history and culture. Its collections represent all regions of the United States and note the ties between African Americans and the African diaspora all over the world.

Meanwhile, the Postal Service on Oct. 3 released four Forever stamps in Brooklyn that honor author Ezra Jack Keats’ iconic book “The Snowy Day.” The popular children’s book, published in 1962 was the first mainstream book to feature a Black child as the central character. It received the 1963 Caldecott Medal for Keats’ illustrations.

In addition, the Postal Service has, at the request of Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), agreed to issue new Alzheimer’s awareness stamps. Those 60-cent stamps will raise money towards research and treatment for the disease – its proceeds are slated for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A scheduled date for its issue has not been released.

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