Extraordinary, Ordinary Black Women
on U.S. Postage Stamp Event
Springfield-Decatur Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
The Extraordinary, Ordinary Black Women on U.S. Postal Stamps Event hosted by the Springfield-Decatur Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc on March 30 held at the Inn at 835 Boutique Hotel was a fabulous success. Persons from the entire state of Illinois including Springfield, Decatur, Peoria and Chicago were in attendance. The event even drew ESPER member Eretta Morris from Orlando, Florida. Over 180 tickets were sold. Major sponsorships were garnered from such organizations and individuals as the American Philatelic Society (Bellefonte, PA); Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (Springfield, Illinois); Illinois Realtors Association (Springfield), Justice Lisa Holder White, Presiding Judge, Illinois Court, Fourth District (Decatur, Ill), Rotary Club of Springfield, and ESPER (Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections)
Ms. Bernice Fields (St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN) presented the extraordinary, yet ordinary lives of the 40 Black women commemorated on U.S. postal stamps. Her Power point Presentation captured the images on each stamp while she detailed the lives of each woman. Participants’ evaluative comments on Ms. Fields mentioned how she was extremely knowledgeable and very detailed in her presentation.
“ I learned a great deal about the 40 women, whom we all know deserved to be honored by becoming immortalized by an image on stamps. You cannot help but admire Ms. Fields for her research.” Ms. Betty Lewis, ESPER Member, Chicago, IL.
“I enjoyed Ms. Bernice Fields presentation; it helped me understand the hardships, sad times and good times that ordinary black women have overcome during the times where segregation and racism were a big part of our society.” Chad Payne, Springfield (Illinois) Philatelic Society.
The day before the March 30 event, Ms. Bernice Fields and Ms. Yvonne Singley, both ESPER members, visited two fourth grade classes at Enos and St Patrick’s Elementary Schools in Springfield to share information about Black women on stamps and stamp collecting. Also, students gave presentations from their Black History Month exercises and received Black Heritage Series Stamps as a gesture of appreciation for their work.
The event included an exhibit shown by Ms. Charlene Blair, ESPER Chapter Director and Founder and Executive Director of the National Museum of African Americans on Stamps based in Edwardsville, Illinois. Also, on display were posters especially designed by the Mr. Clarence McKnight of New Jersey, Webmaster for ESPER (Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections), an internationally based Black stamp organization.