Selected study unit - Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER)

A young Esper Hayes stood in line for hours at a stamp show in the 1970s to meet Olympic track star Jesse Owens. When she finally got to the table where he was signing autographs, he stood and shook her hand to meet the only black collector who attended the show that day. In their conversation she promised to do something that would help foster pride in black heritage and she put that promise to action by forming the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER), using the letters of her name to form the study group's acronym, to promote philatelic collecting highlighting the people and events related to black history. Membership includes a subscription to the quarterly journal Reflections. The association's website,, has information on the history of the Black Heritage series of U.S. stamp issues as well as excerpts from the association's journal and information about worldwide stamp issues that are related to the topic.

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