Richard Allen US Postage Stamp : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I am interested in working with a special project which will enable RIchard Allen to be honored on a commemorative stamp for the USPS. I spoke with Joe McKinney last week and his efforts will help in re-reading the original application to the USPS. In addition, I spoke with Temple University Professor of History Bettye Collier- Thomas who served as a consultant to this project during the AME bi-centennial [1985 or 86?]. She explained to me that the process was stalled due to objections that the USPS raised since the only "religous" personality previously honored was St. Thomas Aquinas and as a policy the US Govt. didn't want to cross that thin line of church & state seperation. She also indicated that the AME leaders during that time did not aggressively pursue using their political clout in petitioning Members of Congress to overturn the myopic opinion raised by the USPS about Richard Allen's exclusion. Lack of cooperation from the Govt I find unsurprising but not exercising the normal political routes to right a wrong I find simply incredulous!

Now what it really interesting is the USPS has in fact honored two distinguished black personalities whose background are quintessentially "religious", Martin Luther King, Jr. & Malcolm X. While St. Thomas and MLK are clearly deserving and Malcom X is perhaps less so [IMHO] the fact remains that Allen should be included as well. I see the strategy for Allen's inclusion in the black commemorative stamp issue including his documented involvement in promoting civil rights and US patriotism. Having visited Mother Bethel several times in the past year I met one of his descendants, Katherine Dockham and she served as a museum tour guide highlighting Allen's multifaceted life. There is more than one way to "skin a cat" and I am seeking input from members of this online community to join in by putting on your thinking caps and assist me and Jackie Dupont Walker of the 2nd District Hdqtrs to make this a reality. Many thanks.

-- Anonymous, September 02, 2000


Perhaps we should honor Mother Bethel and thereby the entire AME Church? After all, Richard Allen is the founder of a denomination-- which is far greater than MLK or Malcolm.

-- Anonymous, September 02, 2000

This is a great idea. I think that MLK and Malcolm X were given the stamp based on social actions and they are probably not even seen as religious leaders to the country as a whole anymore. The images of them have been somewhat sterilized through time. (a shame) Richard Allen was not only a great Religious leader, but he also was a great business man and humanitarian in colonial Philadelphia and Mother Bethel's historical status from the underground railroad and as the longest continually owned piece of land by black's in the country should be enough secular accomplishments to deserve a commemorative stamp. Since it is election time this would be the time to get a quick response from the candidates.

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2000

The U.S. Postal Service created a stamp with Martin Luther's image some years ago. Have them search their records.

-- Anonymous, September 05, 2000

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