MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The U.S. Postal Service unveiled its special Black History Month stamp in Mount Vernon this week, immortalizing the late Shirley Chisholm, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Chisholm was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents. In 1968, she became the the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress and in 1972 was the first woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. She becomes the 37th honoree in the Black History Month stamp series.
In addition to her groundbreaking political victories, Chisholm is also noteworthy for becoming the first African-American to seek the nomination of a major political party. She is also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women’s Political Caucus.
“Shirley Chisholm was a courageous and pioneering woman whose legacy lives on with the issuance of this special stamp,” Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman said. “We’re proud to honor someone that shattered barriers of race and gender. She’s a true champion for justice and equality.”
At the Mount Vernon dedication ceremony, dignitaries included the Mount Vernon City Council, Mayor Ernest Davis, former U.S Rep. Edolphus Towns, who worked with Chisholm, and NAACP chapter President Mattie Little.
“We’re happy the [Postal Service] continues to hold these commemorations in our community,” Davis said.
The stamp was designed by USPS’ art director Ethel Kessler and artist Robert Shatterly as part of his “Americans Who Tell The Truth” series. The stamp became available for purchase on Feb. 1 and will be available through the end of the month.
Chisholm joins an impressive list of honorees who have been memorialized by the USPS’ Black History Month stamp. Others include Martin Luther King Jr., abolitionist Harriet Tubman and entertainer Paul Robeson.
“There hasn’t been any big sales of the stamp. A lot of people are always surprised by the special stamps that come out every few months,” an employee at the Mount Vernon Post Office said. “I like the stamp myself. Anything that can bring some positive attention to Mount Vernon and Black History Month is a positive.”
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