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African-American History Month

Annual observance began Feb. 1

Archival photo of African-American postmaster standing with postal workers
In this archival photo, New York City Postmaster John Strachan, left, who was appointed to the job in 1967, stands with postal workers on the steps of the James Farley Post Office in Manhattan.

USPS will mark African-American History Month, an annual observance held each February.

“The Postal Service proudly commemorates African-American History Month each year,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “African-Americans have always been vital to the success of our organization, and we value their contributions.”

At the beginning of the 20th century, many African-Americans found work in urban Post Offices. The Post Office Department became a source of opportunity for these employees, helping to pave the way for the creation of an African-American middle class.

Currently, about 26 percent of the USPS workforce — or approximately 163,000 employees — are African-American.

African-American History Month traces its roots to February 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson helped establish a weeklong commemoration to raise awareness of African-Americans’ contributions. The observance was expanded to a full month in 1976.

The Postal History section has additional information, including articles about 19th-century and 20th-century African-American postal employees.

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