In order to mark the beginning of this year’s Black History Month, four red postboxes have been painted black. The Postboxes in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast – have been painted black with a gold trim, which are intended to honour black Britons, both past and present and to pay tribute to black Royal Mail staff around the country.
Each of the special edition postboxes, features a significant figure in the British black community and has a social media link featuring a QR code that can be scanned to bring up a full list, and a dedicated online gallery on the Royal Mail website, of the black Britons who have appeared on the special stamps over the years.
Peter De Norville, Royal Mail’s 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, from the mail bag to the meeting room.”
Where can you find the Black History Month postboxes?
The London Postbox:- is in Acre Lane in Brixton, which is near to Black Cultural Archives – a leading museum for the British black community. This box features the image Queuing at the RA by Yinka Shonibare, one of six artists who was commissioned by Royal Mail to produce original artworks for a set of special stamps issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy (RA). Mr Shonibare said: “As a citizen of the commonwealth, it was particularly important to me to be making a visible contribution in a historic public space.”
The Glasgow Postbox:- is in Byres Road and features Footballer Walter Tull, who become the first black player for Rangers in 1917 and died a year later. He featured in a set of stamps released in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War and was also the first black Army officer to command troops in a regular unit. He was killed in action during the war.
The Cardiff Postbox:- is at King Edward VII Avenue and features Mary Seacole, who nursed wounded British soldiers back to health during the Crimean War and built a dedicated place for them to recuperate known as the British Hotel.
The Belfast Postbox:- is in Bedford Street and features Sir Lenny Henry, the stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter and co-founder of the Comic Relief charity.