Black History Fun Fact Friday – Phillip  L. Downing and the First Mailbox

The PBS Blog

Every day, we use our mailbox, checking it for packages and letters and bills. You look at it every single day but did you know a black man invented it? Thanks to Phillip L. Downing (some sources and memes say Paul but so far I have only been able to verify that his name was Phillip), you don‘t have to travel to the post office every day. You can just walk a few steps from your home. But Downing didn’t call it a mailbox. He called it a Street Letter Box.

Downing was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 22, 1857. His father, George T. Downing was an abolitionist and business owner. His grandfather, Thomas Downing, was born to emancipated parents in Virginia and also had a successful business in the financial district of Manhattan in 1825. Thomas Downing also helped to found the United Anti-Slavery Societies of New…

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Book Recommendations for Black History Month

Confessions of a YA Reader

I’m a little late putting this together, but I thought I would recommend some books by black authors for black history month.  The first section will be books I’ve read and liked.  The second will be books I have on my TBR.

I’m not including descriptions, but the links will take you to each book’s page on Goodreads.

These first three all have to do with gun violence.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

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