4 black postboxes to honour Black British people

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Four postboxes across the UK have been painted black to celebrate Black History Month in October

The Royal Mail postboxes located in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast each feature an image of a previous Royal Mail stamp that honours a significant figure from the Black British community.

Faces in history

Sitting on Acre Lane, Brixton, near the Black Cultural Archives, the London postbox features Queuing at the RA, an image originally commissioned in 2018 by Royal Mail to feature as part of a set of special edition stamps to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy. The original artwork was created by Yinka Shonibare, one of six artists to contribute to the stamps.

Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole is honoured on the Cardiff postbox on King Edward VII Avenue. Mary is a poignant figure in Black British history; as a businesswoman, healer and founder of the British Hotel, Mary worked round the clock to care for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War and set up a safe haven for them to recover from their injuries.

Sir Lenny Henry, known for co-founding the charity Comic Relief and his significant work as a stand-up comedian, author, tv presenter, actor and singer, is honoured on the Belfast postbox, on Bedford Street.

The first Black Army officer to command troops in a regular unit and the first Black player to sign for the Rangers, footballer Walter Tull features on the postbox in Byres Road, Glasgow. Walter was tragically killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and his service was honoured by Royal Mail in 2018, featuring him in a set of special edition stamps to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

The unique postboxes serve as a reminder to learn, teach and share Black history, and to continue to recognise and celebrate Black British people. Each postbox has a QR code which, when scanned, brings up a list of Black British people who have featured on unique stamps.

Royal Mail’s Peter De Norville, head of diversity and inclusion, said: “Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions that Black people have made to this country over many generations.

“We are also using it as an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that our Black employees do throughout the nation.”


Black History Month

Black History Month starts on 1 October 2020, an annual observance and opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of Black cultures in history.

For more information, visit blackhistorymonth.org.uk

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