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. In 1978, the Postal Service initiated the Black Heritage stamp series, to recognize the achievements of individual African Americans.

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 1979 — are not included.

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

Music Icons: Sarah Vaughan

(49¢)

March 29, 2016

Holiday Celebrations: Kwanzaa

(47¢)

October 1, 2016

Black Heritage: Dorothy Height

(49¢)

February 1, 2017

The Snowy Day (4 designs)

(49¢)

October 4, 2017

Celebrating African American Heritage and Culture

(49¢)

October 13, 2017

Black Heritage: Lena Horne

(50¢)

January 30, 2018

Kwanzaa 2018

(50¢)

October 10, 2018

Black Heritage: Gregory Hines

(55¢)

January 28, 2019

Music Icons: Marvin Gaye

(55¢)

April 2, 2019

Black Heritage: Gwen Ifill

(55¢)

January 30, 2020

Voices of the Harlem Renaissance:

   

      Nella Larsen     

(55¢)

May 21, 2020

      Alain Locke

(55¢)

May 21, 2020

      Arturo Schomburg

(55¢)

May 21, 2020

      Anne Spencer

(55¢)

May 21, 2020

 

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HISTORIAN
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
MAY 2020

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

Booker T. Washington was the first African American honored on a U.S. postage stamp.