US Stamps

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Obama aide Jarrett to attend Black Heritage ceremony

January 15, 2015 01:34 PM

A senior White House official is planning to attend the Feb. 12 first-day ceremony of the next Black Heritage stamp at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

That’s because Valerie Jarrett, a top aide to President Barack Obama, is a great-great-granddaughter of architect Robert Robinson Taylor, who is being honored on the stamp.

Postal Service officials were quick to point out that the White House had nothing to do with the selection of Taylor, who is believed to be the first African-American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the first black architects in the country.

Museum spokesman Marshall Emery told Linn’s that Jarrett also has expressed an interest in attending an opening event at 6 p.m. that night for a new exhibit, “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights.” It opens Feb. 12 and will run until Feb. 6, 2016.

“We have been told that she may have to travel with the president that night so her plans are still up in the air,” Emery said.

The museum’s website describes the exhibit as “A chronicle of the African American experience told from the perspective of stamps and mail.”

Included are letters carried by “enslaved Americans, mail to and from famous leaders of the civil rights movement and a significant selection of original artwork for the USPS Black Heritage stamp series from the Postmaster General’s Collection.”

A senior advisor to the president, Jarrett is a Chicago lawyer who played a key role in the Obama presidential campaigns and in his transition teams.