On this day in 1963, the first U.S. postage stamp designed by a Black artist was placed on sale


Georg Olden, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Artist Georg Elliot Olden featured a broken chain on the first African American-designed stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was first made available to the public on August 16, 1963.

Olden’s careful attention to detail and symbolic representation captured the essence of the occasion, serving as a powerful reminder of the progress made and the challenges that lay ahead in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

Georg Olden, Fair use

Olden’s design was praised by then President John F. Kennedy as “a reminder of the extraordinary actions in the past as well as the business of the future,” reports the Professional Association for Design.

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