Richard Wright Honored by Former Employer

April 15, 2009
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In a long-0verdue acknowledgement of a native son, last week the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp honoring Richard Wright. One of the better stories about it appeared on BetterEditor, which includes comments from Wright’s daughter Julia on how her father’s early job as a post office clerk inspired Barack Obama and many other African Americans who know the story of his rise. After Wright lost his job at the post office during the Great Depression, he found a spot on the Federal Writers’ Project in Chicago. He researched the history of African Americans in Illinois and wrote essays for the WPA guide to Illinois, and later New York City, while writing and honing his fiction. It’s fitting that the address where you send off for the first Wright stamps is a post office in Chicago.

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