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I Am Carolinas Black History 2/19 - 2/24

Source: Radio One Digital / Radio One Digital


Esper G. Hayes is the founder of the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections, an international stamp society, which promotes stamp collecting philatelic material depicting people/events related to the African Diaspora. Ms.Hayes started the club based on a promise she made to the great Olympian, Jesse Owens after meeting him at a stamp show in the ’70s. She stood in line for hours to get his autograph. When she got to the table, he stood up and shook her hand as they were the only African Americans at the stamp show that day. During their conversation, Jesse mentioned that maybe Esper could do something to help Black people take pride in themselves, and she agreed. After his death in 1980, Esper turned her promise into a commitment to establishing the organization that currently has nearly 300 members throughout the United States and in other countries. Though she passed away last year at the age of 84, after suffering an injury while traveling home from a stamp convention, her memory and work still live on.