Stamps from the African Diaspora

In this digital age, where email has now usurped postal mail as the global communication of choice, stamps remain a small yet powerful canvas on which to stimulate cultural interest
and provoke debate.

The following collection was borne out of a campaign I initiated in the early 1990s. Inspired by the lyrics of Public Enemy’s Fight The Power (“’cause I’m black and I’m proud / I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped / Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps”) I realised that no black historical or cultural figures had been represented on British stamps.

To address this, I created a series of stamp designs highlighting the ‘Black Contribution to Britain’. Unfortunately, although I campaigned for many years, garnering support from several MPs, The Prince of Wales, English Heritage and The Commission for Racial Equality amongst many others, my stamp designs were never to see the light of day.
However, as part of the campaign to persuade Royal Mail to embrace my initiative, and armed with expert historical guidance from Dr Patrick Ismond and The Black Cultural Archives, I researched and collected stamps from around the world. These featured leading figures from the African Diaspora who had been celebrated by other countries.

Thanks to Creative Review, I am now able to share a small selection of this international stamp collection. This collection will also form part of a wider exhibition, Post-Colonial: Stamps from the African Diaspora, to be shown at the flagship London store of the world’s greatest stamp emporium, Stanley Gibbons.

Trained as a graphic designer, Jon Daniel has worked primarily as an art director at some of London’s leading advertising agencies, in a career spanning over twenty years. Currently, he works independently on a range of commissioned and self-initiated projects and is also responsible for leading branding and design studio ebb&flow’s creative team. In celebration of Black History Month UK, this edition of Monograph features a selection of stamps taken from Daniel’s personal collection, which will feature as part of a wider exhibition, Post-Colonial: Stamps from the African Diaspora, at the Stanley Gibbons flagship London store in October.

The exhibition will run from October 1-29 at Stanley Gibbons, 399 Strand, London wc2r 0lx. Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday; 9.30am-5.30pm, Saturday.

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