Black History Month

Black History Month – Buffalo Soldiers

Do people mail postcards anymore?

Every February I go to Canada Post to purchase stamps issued for Black History Month. For 2016 it’s the No. 2 Construction Batallion who get the honours.

https://www.canadapost.ca/shop/stamps/2016-stamps-by-collection/black-history-month-2016/p-414002111.jsf?execution=e1s1

Though led by white officers, the No. 2 Construction Batallion was mostly comprised of black soldiers. It was formed during World War I when black soldiers were prevented from enlisting as a result of racism amongst the recruiters. The Batallion ended up in France and became connected to the Canadian Forestry Corps. The soldiers worked to provide timber for various uses eg building trenches. Though some soldiers did see action it was only from World War II onwards that black men were free to enlist. This was mostly because of the No. 2 Batallion.

As as I walked home with my stamps, I wondered how many people use postcards any more? Many countries issue commemorative stamps and there was a time when stamp collecting was a thing. Next to passport stamps, they were colourful calling cards of having been somewhere exciting. Postcards, too, were also collectible items.

Nowadays with Instagram and other photo sharing apps, postcards seem almost archaic. But stamps live on as do the memories of the people and events who adorn them.

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