African American Subjects on United States Postage Stamps


The first U.S. stamp to honor an African American was the ten-cent Booker T. Washington stamp issued in 1940. Below is a list of stamps issued in honor of African Americans and their contributions. Stamps on which African Americans are part of a mixed scene — for example, the 15-cent "International Year of the Child" issued in 1759 and the 22-cent "Help End Hunger" stamp issued in 1985 — are not included.

The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps lists all United States postage stamps and provides other useful information, including illustrations. The Guide can be found in some bookstores and Post Offices, ordered by calling 1-800-STAMP-24, or purchased through the Postal Store at www.usps.com/shop.

Subject

Denomination

Date Issued

Booker T. Washington

10¢

April 7, 1940

13th Amendment

 3¢

October 20, 1940

Dr. George Washington Carver

 3¢

January 5, 1948

Centennial of Booker T. Washington

 3¢

April 5, 1956

Emancipation Proclamation

 5¢

August 16, 1963

Frederick Douglass

25¢

February 4, 1967

W. C. Handy

 6¢

May 17, 1969

Henry Ossawa Tanner

 8¢

September 10, 1973

Paul Laurence Dunbar

10¢

May 1, 1975

Salem Poor

10¢

March 25, 1975

Black Heritage: Harriet Tubman

13¢

February 1, 1978

Black Heritage: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

15¢

January 13, 1979

Black Heritage: Benjamin Banneker

15¢

February 15, 1980

Black Heritage: Whitney Moore Young, Jr.

15¢

January 30, 1981

Charles R. Drew, MD

35¢

June 3, 1981

Ralph Bunche

20¢

January 12, 1982

Black Heritage: Jackie Robinson

20¢

August 2, 1982

Black Heritage: Scott Joplin

20¢

June 9, 1983

Black Heritage: Dr. Carter G. Woodson

20¢

February 1, 1984

Black Heritage: Mary McLeod Bethune

22¢

March 5, 1985

Black Heritage: Sojourner Truth

22¢

February 4, 1986

Duke Ellington

22¢

April 29, 1986

Arctic Explorers: Matthew Henson

22¢

May 28, 1986

Black Heritage: Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable

22¢

February 20, 1987

Black Heritage: James Weldon Johnson

22¢

February 2, 1988

Black Heritage: A. Philip Randolph

25¢

February 3, 1989

Black Heritage: Ida B. Wells

25¢

February 1, 1990

Olympians: Jesse Owens

25¢

July 6, 1990

Black Heritage: Jan E. Matzeliger

29¢

September 15, 1991

Black Heritage: W.E.B. DuBois

29¢

January 31, 1992

Black Heritage: Percy Lavon Julian

29¢

January 29, 1993

Legends of American Music, Rock & Roll / Rhythm & Blues: Clyde McPhatter

29¢

June 16, 1993

Legends of American Music, Rock & Roll / Rhythm & Blues: Otis Redding

29¢

June 16, 1993

Legends of American Music, Rock & Roll / Rhythm & Blues: Dinah Washington

29¢

June 16, 1993

Joe Louis

29¢

June 22, 1993

Legends of American Music, Broadway Musicals: Porgy & Bess

29¢

July 14, 1993

Black Heritage: Dr. Allison Davis

29¢

February 1, 1994

Buffalo Soldiers

29¢

April 22, 1994

Legends of American Music, Popular Singers: Nat 'King' Cole

29¢

September 1, 1994

Legends of American Music, Popular Singers: Ethel Waters

29¢

September 1, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Mildred Bailey

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Billie Holiday

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Robert Johnson

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: 'Ma' Rainey

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Jimmy Rushing

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Bessie Smith

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Muddy Waters

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers: Howlin' Wolf

29¢

September 17, 1994

Legends of the West: Jim Beckwourth

29¢

October 18, 1994

Legends of the West: Bill Pickett

29¢

October 18, 1994

Black Heritage: Bessie Coleman

32¢

April 27, 1995

Civil War: Frederick Douglass

32¢

June 29, 1995

Civil War: Harriet Tubman

32¢

June 29, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Louis Armstrong

32¢

September 1, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Louis Armstrong

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Eubie Blake

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: John Coltrane

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Erroll Garner

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Coleman Hawkins

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: James P. Johnson

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Charlie Parker

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Charles Mingus

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: Thelonious Monk

32¢

September 16, 1995

Legends of American Music, Jazz Musicians: 'Jelly Roll' Morton

32¢

September 16, 1995

 Black Heritage: Ernest E. Just

32¢

February 1, 1996

Folk Heroes: John Henry

32¢

July 11, 1996

Legends of American Music, Big Band Leaders: Count Basie

32¢

September 11, 1996

Black Heritage: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

32¢

January 28, 1997

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

32¢

October 22, 1997

Black Heritage: Madam C. J. Walker

32¢

January 28, 1998

Celebrate the Century-1900s: W. E. B. DuBois, Social Activist

32¢

February 3, 1998

Celebrate the Century-1910s: George Washington Carver

32¢

February 3, 1998

Celebrate the Century-1920s: Jazz Flourishes

32¢

May 28, 1998

Legends of American Music, Folk Musicians: Leadbelly

32¢

June 26, 1998

Legends of American Music, Folk Musicians: Sonny Terry

32¢

June 26, 1998

Legends of American Music, Folk Musicians: Josh White

32¢

June 26, 1998

Legends of American Music, Gospel Singers: Mahalia Jackson

32¢

July 15, 1998

Legends of American Music, Gospel Singers: Roberta Martin

32¢

July 15, 1998

Legends of American Music, Gospel Singers: Sister Rosetta

32¢

July 15, 1998

Legends of American Music, Gospel Singers: Clara Ward

32¢

July 15, 1998

Celebrate the Century-1930s: Jesse Owens

32¢

September 10, 1998

Black Heritage: Malcolm X

33¢

January 20, 1999

Celebrate the Century-1940s: Jackie Robinson

33¢

February 18, 1999

Celebrate the Century-1950s: Desegregating Public Schools

33¢

May 26, 1999

Celebrate the Century-1960s: "I Have A Dream"

33¢

September 17, 1999

Celebrate the Century-1980s: "The Cosby Show"

33¢

January 12, 2000

Celebrate the Century-1980s: Hip-hop Culture

33¢

January 12, 2000

Black Heritage: Patricia Roberts Harris

33¢

January 27, 2000

Legends of Baseball: Josh Gibson

33¢

July 6, 2000

Legends of Baseball: Satchel Paige

33¢

July 6, 2000

Legends of Baseball: Jackie Robinson

33¢

July 6, 2000

Black Heritage: Roy Wilkins

34¢

January 24, 2001

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

34¢

October 21, 2001

Black Heritage: Langston Hughes

34¢

February 1, 2002

Masters of American Photography: James VanDerZee

37¢

June 13, 2002

Women in Journalism: Ethel L. Payne

37¢

September 14, 2002

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

37¢

October 10, 2002

Black Heritage: Thurgood Marshall

37¢

January 7, 2003

Literary Arts: Zora Neale Hurston

37¢

January 24, 2003

Black Heritage: Paul Robeson

37¢

January 20, 2004

American Choreographers: Alvin Ailey

37¢

May 4, 2004

Distinguished Americans: Wilma Rudolph

23¢

July 14, 2004

Literary Arts: James Baldwin

37¢

July 23, 2004

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

37¢

October 16, 2004

Black Heritage: Marian Anderson

37¢

January 27, 2005

Arthur Ashe

37¢

August 27, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Selma March

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Montgomery Bus Boycott

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit In

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Freedom Riders

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Little Rock Nine

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Civil Rights Act of 1964

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Brown v. Board of Education

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Executive Order 9981

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: March on Washington

37¢

August 30, 2005

To Form a More Perfect Union: Voting Rights Act of 1965

37¢

August 30, 2005

Black Heritage: Hattie McDaniel

39¢

January 25, 2006

Sugar Ray Robinson

39¢

April 7, 2006

Distinguished American Diplomats: Clifton R. Wharton Sr.

39¢

May 30, 2006

Baseball Sluggers: Roy Campanella

39¢

July 15, 2006

American Treasures: Gee's Bend Quilts

39¢

August 24, 2006

Black Heritage: Ella Fitzgerald

39¢

January 10, 2007

Black Heritage: Charles W. Chesnutt

41¢

January 31, 2008

Vintage Black Cinema: The Sport of the Gods

42¢

 July 16, 2008

Vintage Black Cinema: Black and Tan

42¢

July 16, 2008

 Vintage Black Cinema: Princess Tam-Tam

42¢

July 16, 2008

Vintage Black Cinema: Caldonia

42¢

July 16, 2008

 Vintage Black Cinema: Hallelujah

42¢

July 16, 2008

Civil Rights Pioneers: Mary Church Terrell and Mary White Ovington 

42¢

February 21, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers: J.R. Clifford and Joel Elias Spingarn

42¢

February 21, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers: Oswald Garrison Villard and Daisy Gatson Bates

42¢

February 21, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers: Charles Hamilton Houston and Walter White

42¢

February 21, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers: Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer

42¢

February 21, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers: Ella Baker and Ruby Hurley

42¢

February 21, 2009

Richard Wright

61¢

April 9, 2009

Black Heritage: Anna Julia Cooper

44¢

June 11, 2009

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

44¢

October 9, 2009

Distinguished Sailors: Doris Miller

44¢

February 4, 2010

Black Heritage: Oscar Micheaux

44¢

June 22, 2010

Negro Leagues Baseball: Rube Foster

44¢

July 15, 2010

Since 2011, all commemorative stamps for the First-Class Mail one-ounce rate have been Forever stamps, equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.  The value given in parentheses was the price of the stamp when first issued.    

Latin Music Legends: Celia Cruz

(44¢)

March 16, 2011

Jazz

(44¢)

March 26, 2011

Black Heritage: Barbara Jordan

(44¢)

September 16, 2011

Romare Bearden (four designs)

(44¢)

September 28, 2011

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

(44¢)

October 14, 2011

Black Heritage: John H. Johnson

(45¢)

January 31, 2012

American Treasures: William H. Johnson

(45¢)

April 11, 2012

Twentieth-Century Poets: Gwendolyn Brooks

(45¢)

April 21, 2012

Twentieth-Century Poets: Robert Hayden

(45¢)

April 21, 2012

Miles Davis

(45¢)

June 12, 2012

Major League Baseball All-Stars: Larry Doby

(45¢)

July 20, 2012

Major League Baseball All-Stars: Willie Stargell

(45¢)

July 20, 2012

Innovative Choreographers: Katherine Dunham

(45¢)

July 28, 2012

Civil Rights: Emancipation Proclamation

(45¢)

January 1, 2013

Civil Rights: Rosa Parks

(46¢)

February 4, 2013

Modern Art in America: Aaron Douglas

(46¢)

March 7, 2013

Black Heritage: Althea Gibson

(46¢)

August 23, 2013

Civil Rights: The 1963 March on Washington

(46¢)

August 23, 2013

Music Icons: Ray Charles

(46¢)

September 23, 2013

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

(46¢)

November 26, 2013

Black Heritage: Shirley Chisholm

(46¢)

January 31, 2014

Literary Arts: Ralph Ellison

(91¢)

February 18, 2014

Music Icons: Jimi Hendrix

(49¢)

March 13, 2014

Distinguished Americans: C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson

(70¢)

March 13, 2014

Celebrity Chefs: Edna Lewis

(49¢)

September 26, 2014

Wilt Chamberlain

(49¢)

December 5, 2014

Black Heritage: Robert Robinson Taylor

(49¢)

February 12, 2015

Maya Angelou

(49¢)

April 7, 2015

Black Heritage: Richard Allen

(49¢)

February 2, 2016

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HISTORIAN
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
FEBRUARY 2016

Image of die proof of ten-cent Booker T. Washington stamp.

Die proof of ten-cent Booker T. Washington stamp, the first U.S. postage stamp to honor an African American