Charles W. Chesnutt on stamp

October 14th, 2007

With the 31st stamp in its Black Heritage series, the U.S. Postal Service honors Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932), a pioneering writer recognized today as a major innovator and singular voice among turn-of-the-century literary realists who probed the color line in American life. In novels such as The Marrow of Tradition and short stories such as those collected in The Conjure Woman, he probed the color line in American life.

Art director Howard Paine of Delaplane, VA, wanted a stamp that suggested Chesnutt's intelligence and dignity; the portrait painted by stamp artist Kazuhiko Sano of Mill Valley, CA, was based on a 1908 photograph from the collection of Fisk University.

The stamp goes on sale in January.