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African American History Month

Commemoration begins Feb. 1

An African American letter carrier walks near the Washington, DC, Post Office, in 1957. Located across from Union Station, the building is now home to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

The Postal Service will mark African American History Month, which is held each February.

“African Americans have played a vital role in the history of our organization,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “The Postal Service is proud to observe African American History Month each year and honor the important contributions of African Americans to our country and our organization.”

USPS will commemorate the month through activities at its facilities, as well as events to celebrate the release of a Black Heritage stamp honoring Gwen Ifill, a trailblazing journalist who died in 2016.

Approximately 27 percent of the Postal Service workforce is African American.

Many African Americans found work in urban Post Offices at the beginning of the 20th century, helping them to build a foundation for the middle class.

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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