As Black History Month begins, Royal Mail have gone above and beyond to support black lives by unveiling four special edition postboxes in each UK nation. According to Royal Mail the beautifully decorated postboxes honour black Britons both past and present to mark this special month.
“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.”
– Peter De Norville, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Mail
The Black History Month postboxes are located in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast and feature a figure of significance to the British black community who has also appeared on a Special Stamp. The postboxes highlight the prominence and nationwide success of all the Black Britons featured. This isnt the only time Royal Mail have painted their postboxes to commemorate something. In 2012, 110 Postboxes were permanently painted gold for each olympian who won a gold medal, unlike the 4 temporary postboxes which will only be around for the month.
“It was a pleasure to work with Royal Mail on a national postage stamp in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy. As a citizen of the commonwealth, it was particularly important to me to be making a visible contribution in a historic public space.”
– Yinka Shonibare, CBE, created the painting that features on the London box
Black History Month Postbox details:
- London: Acre Lane, Brixton
The postbox was chosen for its proximity to the Black Cultural Archives, as a leading museum for the British black community.
The box features the image Queuing at the RA by Yinka Shonibare (CBE). Shonibare was one of six artists commissioned by Royal Mail to produce original artworks for a set of Special Stamps issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy.
- Glasgow: Byres Road, Glasgow
This postbox was chosen for its central location within the city.
The box features an image of Walter Tull, who had signed on to become the first black player for Rangers, before being tragically killed in action in his post within the British Army (where he was the first black officer to command troops in a regular unit). He featured in a set of stamps released in 2018, to mark the end of the First World War.
- Cardiff: King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff
This postbox was chosen for its proximity to Cardiff City Hall, and central location within the city.
The box features nurse and businesswoman Mary Seacole. She featured on a set of stamps released in 2006 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery. Seacole nursed wounded British soldiers back to health during the Crimean War (1853-1856) and built a dedicated place for them to recuperate known as the British Hotel.
- Belfast: Bedford Street, Belfast
This parcel postbox was chosen for its proximity to Belfast City Hall, and central location within the city.
The box features an image of Sir Lenny Henry CBE. Stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter, known for co-founding the charity Comic Relief, Henry appeared in the Comedy Greats Special Stamps, released in 2015.