In an effort to encourage support of the USPS, Black Lives Matter is rolling out their “Write Black Love Letters” campaign. The initiative features re-imaginings of stamps and reminds people to send letters to one another, especially during this time of isolation ahead of the holidays.
The featured artists include: Damon Davis, Jessi Jumanji, and Lauren Halsey.
This new venture is also leaning into the deep history of Black people and the post office, and how postal jobs have always provided economic stability to us. According to the USPS’s website, the company has long been a place where women and minorities can work and be valued, citing that 21% of employees are Black and women comprising 40% of their workforce. Even when it was not a popular practice to employ women and minorities, the post office was there supporting us. Now, they need our support.
During the summer of 2020, it became widely known that the USPS was enduring a funding crisis and was also the victim of government interference, the latter of which many believed to be an effort to thwart the efforts of those voting by mail in the 2020 presidential election. The COVID-19 pandemic made work for postal officials even more difficult, with slowed service and usage following lockdowns. Increased letter-sending would be of great benefit, both to the larger company, as well as everyday citizens.
“Black postal workers have always been the living representation of generosity, dignity, and connection in my life, so I wanted to create a campaign that centered love,” Noni Limar, the campaign’s creative lead, shares with ESSENCE. “The artists invited all have a deep love for Black people and felt as equally passionate about ensuring all our postal family felt cared for, seen, and prioritized.
“BLM is centering Black life, Black workers, Black history and economics, and above all, Black love,” Limar continued.
The campaign and new stamps are also strides toward economic justice, according to representatives for the campaign, who believe that the federal government should ensure the long-term success of the USPS through programs like postal banking, which “would not only increase employment and revenue at the postal service, but also further economic justice by expanding access to secure banking in communities of color.”
Watch Black Lives Matter’s heartfelt video about the campaign below. Also, keep scrolling to check out the Black stamps they commissioned.