The Black Heritage series has always commemorated people rather than organizations or events. As a result, its attraction lies in the strength of its portraiture. This presents challenges when representing early subjects for whom there are few source images, but it has also produced stunning and memorable designs.
15¢ Benjamin Banneker approved stamp art by Jerry Pinkney, c. 1980
The only known image of the scientist and surveyor Benjamin Banneker is a very crude woodcut from the cover of his 1795 Almanac. Nevertheless, the illustrator delivered a sensitive and believable portrait for this stamp.
Loan from the United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection