Postal Service Honors Charles W. Chesnutt

The United States Postal Service has issued the 31st stamp in its Black Heritage series which honors notable African Americans throughout history. Many of the African Americans who have been honored have been literary figures or academics, including Carter G. Woodson, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Benjamin Banneker, and Mary McLeod Bethune.

The newest stamp in the series honors author Charles W. Chesnutt. Born in Cleveland in 1858, Chesnutt could have passed for white but chose to be true to his Negro heritage. He passed the Ohio state bar in 1887 and operated a successful legal stenography business. He also was the nation’s first commercially successful African-American writer of fiction. Among his books are The House Behind the Cedars, The Colonel’s Dream, and The Marrow of Tradition.