Newark NJ Celebrates 350th Special Pictorial Postmark at Pillar College-Sarah Vaughan Stamp

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On October 13, 2016 The Special Pictorial Postmark cancellation  was issued by the United States Postal Service. The Forever stamp that received The Newark, NJ’s postmark that day at Pillar College was no other but Sarah Vaughan.


This stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler. Bart Forbes painted the image for art which was based on a photograph done by Hugh Bell in 1955. The design of the post mark for the Sesquitercentennial postmark was done by a graphic artst student from Essex County named Jaylen Walker.

It was fitting that they choose Sarah Vaughan’s stamp for this postmark. She was a native of Newark and Newark will always remember her. It is also fitting that Pillar College not only hosted the event but became a temporary Philatelic Station. The Postal Service hand cancelled postage stamps with Newarks 350th Special Pictorial Postmark. Visitors were assured that they could come back to the college and bring their holiday cards for the post mark.

Long live the artistry and memory of Sarah Vaughan and kudo’s to Pillar College for stirring the fire of appreciation for African Americans on stamps. Special thanks to Della Moses for having the vision to help organize this piece of history.



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African American Coins-Rare Bessie Coleman Concept Coin-

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Be on the lookout for the rare Bessie Coleman concept coin. I wrote a few short posts about the Bessie Coleman Concept Coin a while ago. Click on this link and you can read a short post “Who is Bessie Coleman?

You can also read an earlier post that talks about the Bessie Smith Concept Coin designed by Daniel Carr.

If you would like to grab one of the Bessie Smith Concept Coins done in 2001 you can get  one in auction now. If not, just keep your eyes open for future actions or buy it now fixed prices.

I just hope that Daniel Carr’s coin design gets another view. Perhaps as a medal?


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Do You Have a Quarter? If Yes, Flip it Over You Might Have a Black History Collectible

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If you have a quarter in your pocket right now I want you to flip it over. If it is dated 2009 and for Washington DC you would have the quarter with Duke Ellington on the reverse. A Black History collectible!


Duke Ellington back


Now, if you find one and it is in great shape hold on to it. Only 88,800,000  were minted in Denver and 83,600,000  for Philadelphia.

Here are some earlier posts about this coin.

Did You Know That Duke Ellington is on the Reverse of the District of Columbia Quarter?

What if Your Duke Ellington Quarter Was Minted in San Francisco?

Who Designed the Reverse of the Washington DC 2009 Quarter with Duke Ellington?

Now, if you don’t locate one in your pocket change you can grab one online. Here is a listing for the Washington DC, 2009 minted in Philadelphia and

Washington, DC 2009 minted in Denver.



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Posted in African American Bronze and Silver Medals, African American Coin Designers, Duke Ellington, Ed Dwight | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Shirley Chisolm Stamp Released January 31, 2014

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shirley chisolm

The Black Heritage stamp series just released the Shirley Chisholm stamp. This stamp is the 37th stamp in the Black Heritage series. It  features a painting of Chisholm by artist Robert Shetterly. This engaging portrait is taken from a series of paintings titled “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” The  Art Director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.

The great thing about new releases is that you can purchase them directly from the USPS website. If you wait and get them later the price may be higher and the USPS may no longer be selling them.

Purchase your sheet of stamps directly from the USPS by clicking this link.





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Scott Joplin US Postal Stamp Honors a Historic Music Composor and Artist

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On June 8, 1983, Scott Joplin, known as the King of Rag Time, was honored  a 20 cent US Postal Stamp.

Scott Joplin US Postage Stamp 1983

Jerry Pickney is the Artist for this stamp.

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Three Stamps Were Issued to Commemorate Jackie Robinson

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There were three (3) stamps issued by the US Postal Service to commemorate baseball giant and civil rights activist, Jackie Robinson. The first stamp was 20-cent  issued August 2, 1982.

The second stamp was issued on February 18, 1999 and is 33-cents.

Jackie Robinson Stamp 33 cents 1999

It shows Robinson sliding on a base.




Jackie Robinson 33 cent Stamp July 2000

The third stamp is also a  33-cent stamp and shows  him fielding. It  was issued on July 6, 2000.


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African Americans Whose Signatures Are on US Currency

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Their are four African American men whose signatures appear on US Currency. There is one woman whose signature appear on US currency during her tenure 1977-1981. As you know from the prior post Azia Taylor-Morton was the first and only Treasurer in the US. Whereas, the other men served as Registrars and not Treasurer their names also appear on US Currency.

You can click on the names below and learn more about each of the men.

Blance Kelso-Bruce was a Registrar in the US Treasury 5/21/1881 – 6/5/1885

Click here to see a bill with Blance Kelso-Bruce’s signature on it.

Judson W. Lyon Registrar in the US Treasury  April 7, 1898 to April 1, 1906 (Also click this link to see a picture of one of the bills with his signature on it.)

William Tecumseh Vernon Registrar in the US Treasury 6/12/1906 – 3/14/1911

James C. Napier 1911 to 1913


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Azie Taylor-Morton The First and Only African American Treasurer of the US Has Signature on Paper Money 1977-1981

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A Dollar Signed by Morton

If you come across paper money printed between 1977-1981 you should be able to find  the signature of Azie Taylor-Morton. She was the first and ONLY African American Treasurer of the United States. Azie Taylor-Morton served under the Carter administration.

Read More About Azie Taylor-Morton by clicking this link.

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Whitney Young Jr. Honored on a US Postage Stamp in 1981

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Whitney Moore Young, Jr. was an effective civil rights leader who served as executive director of the National Urban League for 10 years.

In 1969, he received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. This stamp was issued January 30, 1981

This is the 4th stamp issued in the Black Heritage series.

Learn more about Whitney Young Jr. by clicking this link

This stamp was also designed by Jerry Pickney.

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Benjamin Banneker US Postage Stamp 1980

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Benjamin Bannekar Postage Stamp 1980


On February 15, 1980 Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught astronomer and mathematician and publisher of Farmers Almanacs in the 1790’s was honored on a 15 cent US Postage Stamp. I want to also note that he was one of three people considered for the reverse of the Washington DC 2009 coin. (As you know if you have been reading this blog the placement was given to Duke Ellington.

This stamp was designed by stamp artist Jerry Pinkney. The print run was 160,000,000.

Read more about Benjamin Banneker by clicking this link.

A self-taught mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker was probably the most accomplished African American of America’s colonial period.

In 1753, he constructed the first wooden striking clock made in America. His studies and calculations in astronomy allowed him to successfully predict a solar eclipse in 1789 and to publish farmer’s almanacs in the 1790s.

In 1791 he helped design and survey the city of Washington, D.C. This stamp was issued February 15, 1980.

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