At the end of January, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) was present at the unveiling of a commemorative stamp featuring Albert Jackson — Canada's first black letter carrier — more than 100 years after his death.
The story of Albert Jackson, a former child slave from the U.S. who escaped to Canada through the Underground Railroad, is part of an important chapter in our common history.
When CUPW’s National Human Rights Committee first found out about his story, we immediately wanted to make sure Albert Jackson’s legacy would be known to as many Canadians as possible.
In 2013, we created a poster in honour of Jackson. To this day, it’s one of our most popular posters, distributed nationwide among our locals and communities.
With the help of the Toronto Local, we have been able to help the family reunite, to contribute to the play The Postman – which highlighted the importance of door-to-door delivery, and to a letter writing campaign from the students at Victoria Public school for the stamp, and many other activities.
And that’s not a surprise.
Jackson’s story is not just a struggle about the obvious: racism. It’s also a struggle for dignity, respect and fairness in the workplace — something that not just our union but the labour movement fights for to this very day.
We are so proud that through this stamp, generations of Canadians will now be aware of Jackson’s courage and the vibrant Black community that supported him.
While it’s important to constantly improve equality in the workplace, it’s also crucial to look back and honour the people who have struggled before us.
Albert Jackson showed us the way; let’s keep fighting for a more just society.