A UMass professor has his fingerprints all over a new U.S. postal stamp coming out this week.
Ralph Ellison, the author of “Invisible Man,” will be honored in postage form. Before a historical stamp like this can be released, it first has be to approved by an expert.
That’s where Steven Tracy comes in. He’s an Afro-American Studies professor at UMass Amherst and an Ellison scholar. Postal officials asked Tracy to approve the Ellison stamp and the biography you can get with it.
Though he says he enjoyed the process of vetting this stamp, he does have one hope for its release.
“So people buy these stamps and they read the biography, it will give them a better and broader idea of Ralph Ellison, other than just the author of ‘Invisible Man,'” Tracy says.
The Postal Service plans to issue the 91 cents stamp starting Feb. 18. That’s just a few weeks before Ellison scholars, including Tracy, gather at a centennial symposium in the author’s honor.