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USPS marks African-American History Month

Los Angeles Postmaster Joe Zapata, left, and gospel singer BeBe Winans
Los Angeles Postmaster Joe Zapata, left, and gospel singer BeBe Winans stand near a Gregory Hines stamp poster following a special dedication ceremony this month for the latest Black Heritage release.

Postal Service employees across the nation helped mark African-American History Month throughout February.

Eastern Area Vice President Joshua Colin addressed high school students in Roanoke, VA, where he discussed how postal careers became sources of economic opportunity for African-Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Working for the Postal Service was a good job to have as many African-Americans were adjusting to working on farms to inside coal mines,” Colin said.

Employees also were part of special dedication ceremonies for this year’s Black Heritage stamp honoring Gregory Hines.

In Los Angeles, employees participated in a ceremony that featured gospel singer BeBe Winans. Other special dedications were held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and the Mount Vernon, NY, City Hall.

“America’s greatest strength is the diversity of its people,” Baltimore District Manager Dane Coleman said at a special dedication ceremony at the Baltimore Post Office. “This month is a time to celebrate African-Americans’ contributions to our local communities and to our nation.”

Employees also took pride in educating each other about African-American history.

At the Southern Area office in Plano, TX, Strategic Communications Specialist Albert Ruiz created a display of Black Heritage stamps and other releases with African-American themes.

“Every person who has been featured on a stamp tells a story,” Ruiz said. “As a stamp collector and history buff, I was inspired to put a display together to highlight those who have made their mark in America.”

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