Royal Mail has given four post boxes new livery to mark Black History Month. The boxes will honour black Britons past and present in October 2020.

Black History Month

The post boxes are located in London, close to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton; Glasgow, close to the University; and near the City Halls in Cardiff. The Belfast box is a parcel post box.

The boxes are black with a gold trim. Each features a figure of significance to the British black community but are designed to highlight the prominence and nationwide success of all the Black Britons featured.

The individuals also appear on a special stamp. A full list of black Britons who have appeared on special tamps over the years can be found by scanning a QR code on the boxes, which link through to a dedicated online gallery on the Royal Mail website.

Peter De Norville, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Royal Mail said: “Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to this country over many generations. We are also using it as an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that our black employees do throughout the nation, from the mail bag to the meeting room.” 

Artist Yinka Shonibare, CBE, who created the painting that features on the London box, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Royal Mail on a national postage stamp in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy. As a citizen of the commonwealth, it was particularly important to me to be making a visible contribution in a historic public space.”

Information on the location and design of each post box is as follows:

London: Acre Lane, Brixton

The post box was chosen for its proximity to the Black Cultural Archives, as a leading museum for the British black community. The box features the image Queuing at the RA by Yinka Shonibare CBE. Shonibare was one of six artists commissioned by Royal Mail to produce original artworks for a set of Special Stamps issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy.

Glasgow: Byres Road, Glasgow

The box features an image of Walter Tull, who was the first black footballer to sign for Rangers, before being killed in action in his post within the British Army where he was the first black officer to command troops in a regular unit. He featured in a set of stamps released in 2018 to mark the end of the First World War.

Cardiff: King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff

This one was chosen for its proximity to Cardiff City Hall, and central location within the city. It features nurse and businesswoman Mary Seacole. She featured on a set of stamps released in 2006 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery. Seacole nursed wounded British soldiers back to health during the Crimean War (1853-1856) and built a dedicated place for them to recuperate known as the British Hotel.

Belfast: Bedford Street, Belfast

This parcel box features an image of Sir Lenny Henry CBE, the stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter, known for co-founding the charity Comic Relief. Henry appeared in the Comedy Greats Special Stamps, released in 2015.

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