John Lewis Stamp Unveiling in New Jersey
L-R: David Moore-Sigma NJ State Director; Titessa Smith-Zeta NJ State Director; Tracy Harrington-Omicron Omicron Zeta Chapter President; R. Shawn Chester-Rho Delta Sigma Chapter President; Della Moses Walker-ESPER NJ Chapter Director, Clarence McKnight- Exhibitor and ESPER's webmaster, Loretta Winters-NAACP Gloucester County President; Andrew McWilliams-Postmaster, Sewell, NJ.
On Saturday, August 12, 2023, I was invited to set up an exhibit for The John Lewis unveiling in South New Jersey. The event was held at The Perfecting Church in Sewell, NJ. It was hosted by Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. About 130 attendees were at this event. The Sewell post office was selling John Lewis stamps and other related items. It was a well-organized ceremony.
Clarence McKnight, ESPER"s Webmaster
What a wonderful ceremony Saturday, held 'Down Jersey' in Sewell (pronounced Suewell), to unveil the forever stamp in honor of Congressman John Lewis. There were 100+ attendees. ESPER members in attendance were Clarence McKnight, Gwen Melvin Foster, Sharon Suber, Sheltry Ward, Christopher Smith Jr., Alex Whiters-Smith, Marjorie Crawford, Warren Crawford, R. Shawn Chester, Jacqueline Rutger, Ashley Turnbull, Sandra Long Weaver, and Susan Marie Mayer. Thirty-five people, including 5 young people boarded a chartered bus, traveling from Essex County, to Gloucester County.
We got on the bus. On the way down, we heard three presentations. Ms. Glendora Simonson, a Master Quilter, talked about and displayed her creation of a magnificent Stamp Quilt of Suffragettes, who were honored with postage stamps.
I presented a cachet with a Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro, NJ postmark, featuring Congressman George Henry White, who introduced Anti- Lynching Legislation in 1900. Seven-year-old Jordan read a piece about the life of John Lewis.
During the return trip, there were lots of fun activities and giveaways. Included along with these were Maya Angelou, Sarah Vaughan, First Day of Issue Cachets, Vintage REFLECTIONS magazines, including an issue featuring an article on US SHIPS, named after African Americans. Also, everyone received an African American on Stamps, 'WORD SEARCH PUZZLE'.
At the event Clarence McKnight displayed a museum quality exhibit titled 'Stamping Through History'. Clarence's work is a MUST SEE!
Della Moses Walker, ESPER's New Jersey State Director
Ceremony Program Participants
Mistress of Ceremonies Sharon Suber
Presentation of Colors-
Dover Air Force Color Guard
NAACP (Gloucester County) Loretta Winters
Opera Singer Jillian Pirtle
Song National Anthem and Negro National Anthem
Opening Prayer, Pastor
ESPER'S NJ State Director Della Moses Walker
Tracy D. Harrington (OOZ Chapter
R. Shawn Chester (RDS Chapter)
Sigma /Zeta NJ State Director...
David Morre and Titessa Smith
Jacob Gillison, former
Director of Operations for
Congressman John Lewis
Jim Jefferson, Gloucester County Commissioner
John Lewis New Jersey unveiling postmark
Phi Beta Siga Fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Sigma /Zeta NJ State Director...David Morre and Titessa Smith, R. Shawn (RDS Chapter), Tracy D. Harrington (OOZ Chapter)
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Phi Beta Siga Fraternity
ESPER Members attending ceremony
L-R: Christopher Smith, Jr, Ashley Turnbull, Shawn Chester, Jackie Rutgers-Davis,Warren Crawford, Sheltry Ward, Della Moses Walker, Clarence McKnight, Sandra Long Weaver, Alex Withers-Smith, Marjorie Crawford, Gwen Melvin Foster, Sharon Suber.
Children on bus from North Jersey
Exhibit by Clarence McKnight
Special Congressman John Lewis stamp posters by Clarence McKnight
Attendees at ceremony
Photo provided by Ashley Turnbull, Della Mose Walker, and Sharon Suber.