Published on Wed, 01/28/2009 by Canada Post

Canada Post celebrates Black History Month


OTTAWA (January 27, 2009) - North Americans have recognized February as Black History month since 1926 and this year, Canada Post will mark the occasion with two stamps celebrating the accomplishment of Abraham Doras Shadd and Rosemary Brown.

Born in 1801, in Mill Creek Hundred, Delaware, Abraham Doras Shadd and his family moved to Southern Ontario’s North Buxton area of Canada in 1851. He was the first Black person to serve in Canadian public office when he was elected to the Council of Raleigh, Ontario in 1859. Throughout his life, Shadd championed the fight against racism and played a major role in the Underground Railroad as "station master" and "conductor," guiding slaves on the run from the southern states through a secret route to Canada and freedom. Shadd was a participant in the founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society and remained an active member thoughout his life. Mr. Shadd passed away in 1882, and in 1994, the road that traverses the heart of North Buxton was named A. D. Shadd Road in his honour.

Rosemary Brown (née Wedderburn) was born in Jamaica in 1930. She moved to Canada in 1950 to study at Montreal’s McGill University where she would first encounter Canadian racism. Throughout her trail blazing career as an activist, Brown would fight for her rights and those of other women and minorities. Brown moved to Vancouver in 1955 to marry Bill Brown. There, she became the first Black woman elected to public office in Canada when in 1972, she was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the B.C. Legislature. After 14 years of service as an MLA, Ms. Brown took a job in Ottawa in 1989 with MATCH International, a development agency run by and for women, and served as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Ms. Brown passed away in 2003.

The stamps, designed by Lara Minja of Lime Design Inc. with the works of illustrator Suzanne Duranceau, reflect the individuals they celebrate and bring together various imagery to tell their remarkable stories. On one stamp, Abraham Shadd is shown in the foreground holding a lantern with refugees in the background, while the second stamp features Rosemary Brown standing before the B.C. Legislative Building.

The PERMANENT™ stamps measure 40 mm x 39.65 mm (horizontal) with 13+ perforations. Canadian Bank Note printed 2 million stamps which will be sold in panes of 16. The P.V.A. gum stamp will be printed using lithography in five colours plus varnish on Tullis Russell paper. They are general tagged on all sides. The Official First Day Cover will bear a dual cancel reading Merlin, Ontario - Vancouver, British Columbia.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the News section of Canada Post's website, and photos of these new stamps are also available. Stamps and other products will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free: 1 800 565-4362, and from other countries, call: 902 863-6550.

– 30 –

For more information:
Nicole Lemire 613 734-8888 –

Shadd--Brown-Stamps.zipPlease click here to download images of the stamps.421.87 KB