British postal service Royal Mail unveiled four black mailboxes to mark the start of Black History month and they honour prominent personalities like Mary Seacole and Sir Lenny Henry.
A picture of comedian Sir Lenny Henry features on a postbox in Belfast. Nursing pioneer Mary Seacole, who cared for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War between 1853 and 1856, features on a mailbox in Cardiff.
A mailbox in Brixton features the painting ‘Queuing at the RA’ by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. A picture of footballer Walter Tull, the first Black player to be signed by the Rangers football club, is on a mailbox in Glasgow.
These versions of the traditional mailboxes are black with gold trim.
Each box also features details about the personality and their work. The boxes also reportedly contain a QR code that will provide a list of other personalities who have featured on stamps.
Bedford Street, Belfast
This parcel postbox was chosen for its proximity to Belfast City Hall. The box features an image of Sir Lenny Henry CBE. Stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer & television presenter, known for co-founding the charity Comic Relief.#BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/Jh4R560tKv
— Royal Mail (@RoyalMail) September 30, 2020
Black History month first originated in the US and found its way to the UK in 1987. The idea was to highlight and celebrate the lives of prominent Black people.
However, Royal Mail’s attempt received mixed reactions online:
Does anyone still use the post office except for parcels? 😂
— Benson Ndehi (@BNdehi) October 2, 2020
Dear Karen, Head of D&I @Royal Mail …this is not the kind of representation folks were talking about
— rach (@creativerach1) October 2, 2020
Why? There’s 4 of them in the whole country isn’t there? They will be black for one month and then they’ll be red again.
— Sciantific (@norchcity) September 30, 2020
This is a bloody disgrace.
— Malcolm Claxton (@jivinmalc) September 30, 2020
Tyrek Morris, co-founder of the All Black Lives UK, told The Guardian though there was nothing wrong with the post box campaign, firms needed to take more practical action.
The campaign was also ridiculed by comedian Munya Chawawa, in one of his videos.
— Munya Chawawa (@munyachawawa) September 30, 2020
The special mailboxes will remain in place until the end of October.
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