Happy New Year!

A recent visit to the post office made me realize how sick I am of those damn Julia Cooper stamps. Mrs. Cooper was an accomplished woman, but when I ask for African-American stamps, I need more than just one or two choices. Not to mention, I refuse to put any of those ugly Forever stamps on any envelope of mine—including bills.

The post office announced a few new African-American stamps for release this year. I’m thankful, but I’d still like even more options. I guess I could pay $25 and create my own stamps with that software they sale. Yeah, I thought about it. In the meantime, look at the coloreds the post office wants to add to your pretty white envelopes this year:

The Negro Leagues Baseball stamps, to be issued in June, pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. Drawing some of the most remarkable athletes ever to play the sport, including Satchel Page and Josh Gibson, the Negro leagues galvanized African-American communities across the country, challenged racist notions of athletic superiority, and ultimately sparked the integration of American sports. The Negro Leagues Baseball stamps pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. The two 44-cent stamps comprise one scene painted by Kadir Nelson.

The first African American hero of World War II, Doris Miller (1919-1943) became an inspiration to generations of Americans for his actions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Although he was only the first of a number of African Americans to be recognized for their heroism in World War II, Miller is singularly remembered for providing inspiration to a campaign for equal recognition and opportunity for Blacks in the military, a campaign that bore fruit in 1948 when President Truman ordered “that there shall be equality and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces.” The Doris Miller stamp features a detail from a photograph of Miller (1942). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort USS Miller (DE-1091), which was commissioned in 1973.

The 33rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, to be issued June 22, honors pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, who wrote, directed, produced and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century. An ambitious, larger-than-life figure, Micheaux thrived at a time when African-American filmmakers were rare, venues for their work were scarce, and support from the industry did not exist. Micheaux’s entrepreneurial spirit and independent vision continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and artists. This stamp features a stylized portrait of Oscar Micheaux by Gary Kelley. The artwork is based on one of the few surviving photographs of Micheaux, a portrait that appeared in his 1913 novel The Conquest.

View more 2010 stamp releases at the USPS website. Happy reading, y’all!