Little Known of Interpreter Featured on Canada’s 2017 Black History Stamp

Mathieu Da Costa — a 17th-century interpreter who is thought to be the first person of African descent to arrive in Canada — is featured on this year’s Black History stamp from Canada Post.

The domestic rate self-adhesive stamps sold in booklets of 10 are being formally issued February 1 at the start of Black History Month. The official first-day cover is canceled in Tadoussac, Quebec, where historians believe Da Costa may have come ashore.

Da Costa continues to fascinate and confound scholars. Admittedly little is known about Da Costa and there is no known portrait. From the few records that remain, historians conclude he was a free man who earned a living as an interpreter for Europeans who were trading with indigenous people in the New World. Believed to be of African or even Euro-African descent, his connection to Canada came in the year 1608 — the year Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec — when Da Costa signed a contract to work for French fur trader, explorer and governor of Acadia, Pierre Dugua de Mons.

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Dorothy Height Stamp Event Feb. 1

Dorothy Height (Black Heritage series)
Dorothy Height (Black Heritage series)

The Dorothy Height forever stamp will be issued nationwide February 1. The ceremony for the stamp will take place at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The Height stamp is the 4oth in the Black Heritage series.

Here is the USPS media advisory on who is participating in the ceremony:

Postal Service to Honor Civil Rights Legend Dorothy Height

What: The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the 2017 Black History Month observance with the issuance of the Dorothy Height Forever stamp, 40th stamp in the Black Heritage series.
Who: Ronald A. Stroman, deputy postmaster general and chief government relations officer, United States Postal Service
Congressman John Lewis
Alexis Herman, president, Dorothy I. Height Education Foundation
Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women
Naima Randolph, Dorothy Height’s great niece
Derry Noyes, art director
Bishop Vashti McKenzie, bishop of the African American Episcopal Church
When: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, 11:00 a.m. ET (Doors open at 10:00 a.m. ET)
Where: Howard University, Cramton Auditorium, 2455 Sixth Street, Washington, DC 20059 (NOTE: This ceremony is free and open to the public. Space is limited and admission is not guaranteed. To obtain a free ticket, visit the Cramton Auditorium Box Office. Box Office hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Background: The 40th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Dorothy Height (1912–2010), the tireless activist who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. Although she rarely gained the recognition granted her male contemporaries, she became one of the most influential civil rights leaders of the 20th century. The stamp features artist Thomas Blackshear II’s gouache and acrylics on board portrait of Height. The painting is based on a photograph shot in 2009 by Lateef Mangum. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

Dorothy Height Stamp in February

The United States Dorothy Height commemorative forever stamp will be issued nationwide February 1.

Dorothy Height (Black Heritage series)
Dorothy Height (Black Heritage series)

The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. in the Cramton Auditorium at Howard University, 2455 Sixth St., N.W., Washington, D.C. The ceremony is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To obtain free tickets, visit the Cramton Auditorium Box Office of reserve by phone at 202-806-7194 (Box Office Hours: Monday–Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Here is information about the Dorothy Height commemorative stamp courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service:

Dorothy Height (Black Heritage series)
The 40th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Dorothy Height (1912-2010), the tireless activist who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. Although she rarely gained the recognition granted her male contemporaries, she became one of the most influential civil rights leaders of the 20th century. The stamp features artist Thomas Blackshear II’s gouache and acrylics on board portrait of Height. The painting is based on a 2009 photograph shot by Lateef Mangum. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.