Stamps from the African Diaspora

Creative Review | Monograph | October 2011

In this digital age, where email has now usurped postal mail as the global communication of choice, stamps remain a small yet powerful canvas on which to stimulate cultural interest and provoke debate.

The following collection was borne out of a campaign I initiated in the early 1990’s.

Inspired by the lyrics of Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ (‘cause I’m Black and I’m proud, I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped, Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps’) I realised that no Black historical and cultural figures had been represented on British stamps.

To address this, I created a unique series of stamp designs highlighting ‘Black Contribution to Britain’.

Unfortunately, although I campaigned for many years, garnering support from several MP’s, The Prince of Wales, English Heritage, and The Commission for Racial Equality amongst many others, my stamp designs were never to see the light of day.

However, as part of the campaign to persuade Royal Mail to embrace my initiative, and armed with expert historical guidance from Dr. Patrick Ismond and The Black Cultural Archives, I researched and collected stamps from around the world. These featured leading figures from the African Diaspora who had been celebrated by other countries.

Thanks to Creative Review, I am able to share a small selection of this international stamp collection with Creative Review subscribers via the publication, Monograph.

This collection will also form part of a wider exhibition, ‘Post-Colonial: Stamps from the African Diaspora’ on Facebook and at the flagship London store of the world’s greatest stamp emporium Stanley Gibbons.

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