Black Heritage

1990 Ida B. Wells stamp
July 16, 1862

Birth of Ida B. Wells 

Ida Bell Wells was born July 16, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi, just before President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation.  Wells was an early leader in the Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage movements, as well as a founder of the NAACP.  

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1985 Mary McLeod Bethune stamp
July 10, 1875

Birth of Mary McLeod Bethune

Educator and activist Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was born on July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina. She founded a private school for African Americans and was a member of several African American women’s organizations, sometimes called the “Female Booker T. Washington.”

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2003 Thurgood Marshall stamp
July 2, 1908

Birth of Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the first African American Supreme Court Justice and served 24 years on the bench.

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2008 Charles W. Chesnutt stamp
June 20, 1858

Birth of Charles W. Chesnutt

Charles Waddell Chesnutt was born on June 20, 1858, in Cleveland, Ohio.  He was a critically-acclaimed author and the first African American novelist to have his work published in the prestigious Atlantic Monthly Magazine.

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1978 Harriet Tubman stamp
June 2, 1863

Raid on Combahee Ferry

On June 2, 1863, Harriet Tubman helped lead a daring Union raid on South Carolina’s Combahee Ferry. The raid succeeded in capturing supplies, damaging Confederate defenses, and freeing over 750 slaves.

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2000 Patricia Roberts Harris stamp
May 31, 1924

Birth of Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris was born on May 31, 1924, in Mattoon, Illinois. Harris achieved several firsts in her life. She was the first black woman to serve as an American ambassador, serve in the US Cabinet, be dean of a law school, and sit on the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company.

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2014 Edna Lewis stamp
April 13, 1916

Birth of Edna Lewis

Celebrity Chef Edna Lewis was born on April 13, 1916, in Freetown, Virginia. Lewis is credited with reviving the long-lost style of simple Southern cooking. She was the co-owner and only chef at Café Nicholson and wrote four cookbooks that infused classic recipes with personal stories.

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1993 Percy Julian stamp
April 11, 1899

Birth of Percy Lavon Julian

Chemist Percy Lavon Julian was born on April 11, 1899, in Montgomery, Alabama. Julian was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry, and the first to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. He owned more than 100 chemical patents and was a pioneer in chemical synthesis of drugs used in medicine.

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2012 William H. Johnson stamp
March 18, 1901

Birth of William H. Johnson

Artist William H. Johnson was born on March 18, 1901, in Florence, South Carolina. He was one of the leading African American artists of the 20th century, best known for his bright folk style paintings.

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