|Date of Issue
|January 29, 2024
Current monetary value: $0.92.
|Black History Month
|Series Time Span
|2011 - 2024
Part of the Black History Month series, this 2024 stamp pays tribute to Mary Ann Shadd, an abolitionist, educator and lawyer who was the first Black woman to publish a newspaper in North America.
Through her newspaper, the Provincial Freeman, Shadd played an important role in promoting Canada as a place for Black people to settle, raise families and contribute as free citizens.
Black History Month honours the many Canadians throughout history whose voices have contributed to the struggle to end racism and discrimination.
Canada Post commemorates the notable achievements of Canadians of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Annual stamps have been issued to celebrate Black History Month since 2009.
Many Black Canadians have been honoured on stamps for their efforts to break new ground and set an example for coming generations – despite facing racism and discrimination themselves.
Mary Ann Shadd (1823-93), founder of the Provincial Freeman, was North America’s first Black female newspaper publisher. Born to free parents in Wilmington, Delaware (then a slave state), she moved to Windsor, Canada West (now Ontario), where she established a racially integrated school in 1851, followed by the Provincial Freeman in 1853. Initially keeping her name off the masthead to avoid bias against a female editor, Shadd used the newspaper to encourage Black immigration to Canada, promote integration into white society and inform readers of the realities of Black life in Canada West, including discrimination and segregation.
In addition to her work as an educator, publisher and abolitionist, she advocated for women’s rights. During the American Civil War, she returned to the United States to help recruit soldiers for the Union Army and later studied at Howard University, becoming the second Black woman in the U.S. to obtain a law degree. She continued to fight for equality for Black people and women’s rights for the rest of her life. In 1994, Shadd was designated a national historic person in Canada.
The stamp design is a richly layered blending of archival imagery and symbolism. The central image is the only known photograph of Shadd (circa 1855-60, photographer unknown).
The lower image is a reproduction of the Provincial Freeman’s masthead, faithfully recreated to include both of Canada’s official languages.
The purple tone carried throughout the stamp issue, a colour favoured by the women’s suffrage movement, symbolizes freedom, dignity and loyalty to the cause.
The metallic-inked black-eyed Susans represent resilience, encouragement, justice and motivation.