Black History Month celebrated with new Richard Allen black heritage stamp

EAST ORANGE, NJ — Community leaders and local postal officials celebrate Black History Month with an unveiling of an oversized 40-inch by 28-inch enlargement of the new Richard Allen Forever commemorative postage stamp on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at noon in East Orange City Hall, 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange.

The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church.” Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by 10 other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. The First-Day-of-Issue ceremony took place at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen, 1760–1831, was an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. The Richard Allen Forever stamp is the 39th issuance in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage stamp series, which began in 1978 with a stamp honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The issuance of the Richard Allen stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, considered one of the most important institutions in black life, and Allen’s election and consecration as A.M.E.’s first bishop.

Other blacks honored in the Black Heritage stamp series include Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Banneker, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Mary McLeod Bethune, Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Hattie McDaniel, Ella Fitzgerald, John H. Johnson, Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm.

The new Richard Allen Forever stamp is available at Post Offices nationwide, at, or by calling 800-782-6724. A variety of related collectibles is also available at

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