US Postal Service holds Black History celebration in Roanoke


ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The U.S. Postal Service held a Black History Month celebration in Roanoke Sunday afternoon. Some of the area's first black postmasters took oaths today.

Bianca Holman/WDBJ7

Cloteal Farmer is the first black postmaster in Salem. 

"It's exciting … it didn't hit me yet but I"m starting to realize it's history and it's really exciting for me," Farmer said.

Farmer and 15 other postal employees were recognized during the postal service's celebratoin."This year we're trying to do it big once again, something for the community so we can celebrate black history," Jim Hubbad of the National Association of Postal Supervisors said.

WDBJ7's Neesey Payne was one of several speakers at the event.

The celebration unveiled this year's Black Heritage stamp featuring Virginia native and civil rights icon Dorothy Irene Height. 

"I think that really sums up who she was a woman of equality and fairness, and advocating for those who were disenfranchised or looked at as less than back in a time where our country was much different that it is now," Tanisha Nash of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Just like Height, Farmer hopes to inspire others. 

"By me being a postmaster I'm able to mentor people and encourage people, so that's always a good feeling for me," Farmer said.

"This event serves as a catalyst for more change. Important for our youth to see that people who look like them can contribute so much to the world and every little bit counts and it's not in vain, you can be recognized for the things that you do and the person you are," Nash said.

For $9.80 you can have a piece of history for yourself.