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Morehouse Hosts Unveiling of Postal Service's Charles W. Chesnutt Black Heritage Stamp

By Add Seymour Jr.

The legacy of author and civil rights activist Charles W. Chesnutt has been honored by the United States Postal Service, which on Wednesday, Feb. 13, made him the 31st person to be featured on a stamp as part of its Black Heritage Series.

Chesnutt’s stamp was unveiled during a ceremony in the lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

“Charles Chesnutt has left a tremendous literary foundation for us,” said Mary Ziegler, associate professor of English at Georgia State University and president of the Charles W. Chesnutt Association.

Chesnutt (1858-1932), who was an outspoken critic of racial inequality, wrote several novels, including The House Behind The Cedars, The Marrow of Tradition and The Colonel’s Dream, all about the African American experience.

Ziegler, along with Morehouse President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75, USPS Atlanta district manager Kate F. Wiley and USPS marketing manager Mike Barfield, told nearly 100 people in King Chapel’s lobby that Chesnutt’s legacy is tale of a man using his talents to fight racism in America.

“He was courageous enough to assume the risks of addressing the African American condition through literature during a time when being black and outspoken often had precarious consequences,” Franklin said. “And in doing so, he achieved a small measure of fame that brought attention to him personally, but more importantly, he drew attention to the African American plight in America.”

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