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Black and Brown trading stamp albums

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS-16479

Content Description

This collection contains three empty Black and Brown trading stamp albums, and two filled Black and Brown trading stamp albums. Also included are approximately 75-100 unattached twenty-five cent Black and Brown stamps featuring James Brown.


  • circa 1969

Biographical / Historical

The Black and Brown Trading Stamp Corporation was founded by former professional football wide receiver Arthur Louise Powell (1937-2015) of the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and the New York Titans. He also played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles.

His goal for establishing the corporation was to increase patronage to black owned businesses in downtown Oakland, California, and promote pride by featuring Black icons.

The first and only icon featured on the stamps was James Brown, who put up most of the money to start the company. A full book of fifty pages was worth the equivalent of three dollars in merchandise.

Instead of redeeming the booklets at a redemption center, Powell's idea was for the customer to be able to redeem the stamps at the business where they were received for extra merchandise. It included around a thousand merchants across California and generated over one million dollars in revenue during the first year.


0.04 Cubic Feet (This collection contains 1 legal folder.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased by the University of Virginia Special Collections Library on December 4, 2019.


Black and Brown trading stamp albums
In Progress
Sharon Defibaugh
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States