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Black Literary Images (2)

[By Kenton Rambsy]

The Black Heritage Series—a U.S. Postal Service initiative
started in 1978—seeks to honor prominent African Americans who have contributed
to American culture through civic and intellectual involvement. My post, today,
reflects on the seven black literary figures featured in this series. The seven
black novelists—James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Langston
Hughes, Oscar Micheaux, W.E.B. Dubois, and Charles W. Chesnutt—are novelists in
the HBW collections as well.
The different renderings of these artists and artistic
background of each stamp represents an aspect of each of the novelists
personalities. For instance, the cityscape behind James Baldwin seems to
suggest a connection to Harlem and New York in general. In a similar fashion,
W.E.B. DuBois is looking off at a distance similar to his character poses. Therefore,
taking the visual representations of these writers into consideration is
important given the manner in which they have been framed in the public’s
historical imaginations through these stamps.