Paint it black

Special edition postboxes unveiled to mark Black History Month

As Black History Month begins tomorrow, we have unveiled four special edition postboxes in each UK nation.

The beautifully decorated postboxes honour black Britons - both past and present - to mark this special month.

The postboxes are located in special sites in London (close to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton), Glasgow (close to Glasgow University), Cardiff (close to Cardiff City Hall) and Belfast (close to Belfast City Hall). The Belfast box is a parcel postbox.

The social media-activated postboxes are painted black with a striking gold trim, and each feature a figure of significance to the British black community, each of whom have also appeared on a Special Stamp.

The postboxes highlight the prominence and nationwide success of all the black Britons featured. A full list of black Britons who have appeared on Special Stamps over the years can be found by scanning a QR code on the boxes, which links through to a dedicated online gallery on the Royal Mail website.

Peter de Norville, head of diversity and inclusion, said: ‘Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to this country over many generations. We are also using it as an opportunity to celebrate the vital work that our black employees do throughout the nation, from the mail bag to the meeting room.

‘As one of the UK’s largest and most diverse employers, it is of great importance to us that Royal Mail is a place where black colleagues can achieve their full potential. From our Spring Forward programme - which aims to improve career progression for minority employees - to our targeted workshops to support black colleagues in senior positions, it is our priority to give our people the skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve as they see fit.’

Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE, who created the painting that features on the London box, said: ‘It was a pleasure to work with Royal Mail on a national postage stamp in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy.

‘As a citizen of the Commonwealth, it was particularly important to me to be making a visible contribution in a historic public space.’

Supporting BAME colleagues

Making our business a place where black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues can achieve their potential remains a priority. Career progression is a key focus as we work towards improving the representation of colleagues from BAME backgrounds across all levels of the business.

If you are thinking about holding a BAME cultural event in your unit, and need some help please reach out to the BAME steering group, or volunteer to help out with their activities, email

Keep an eye out for our Black History Month colleague case studies on every week throughout October.

30 Sep 2020