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 October 20, 1940
Dr. George Washington Carver January 5, 1948
Centennial of Booker T. Washington April 5, 1956
Emancipation Proclamation August 16, 1963
Frederick Douglass 25¢ February 4, 1967
W. C. Handy May 17, 1969
Henry Ossawa Tanner 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.

Subject Denomination Date 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
Hip Hop:    
      MC      (55¢) July 1, 2020
      B-Boy (55¢) July 1, 2020
      Graffiti Artist (55¢) July 1, 2020
      DJ (55¢) July 1, 2020
Kwanzaa 2020 (55¢) October 13, 2020
Black Heritage: August Wilson (55¢) January 28, 2021

HISTORIAN
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
JULY 2021