African Americans on Postage Stamps

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Leader of the African-American Protest Movement

15-cent Martin Luther King Jr. stamp
The Martin Luther King Jr. stamp was issued January 13, 1979 as the second stamp in the Black Heritage Series.

“For in a real sense, America is essentially a dream. A dream as yet unfulfilled. It is a dream of a land where men of all races of all nationalities and of all creeds can live together as brothers.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the most powerful and popular leader of the African-American protest movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He spearheaded mass action through marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and nonviolent demonstrations that profoundly and positively affected America’s attitudes toward racial prejudice and discrimination. In 1963, he became the first African-American honored as TIME magazine’s Man of the Year, and he was presented the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University. He was a minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery in 1955, and coordinated the Montgomery bus boycott. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to serve as co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1959, and from there he helped organize Civil Rights demonstrations and voter registration in Alabama and Georgia.

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The 33-cent Martin Luther King Jr. stamp was issued on September 17, 1999.

The Black Experience