LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– American Author, Ernest J. Gaines was selected by the United States Postal Service as the 46th Black Heritage Stamp recipient. The ceremony to unveil the stamp was held at ULL, where Dr. Gaines used to be a professor.

David Walton with USPS says, “We’re so privileged to be featuring him. He is a such an influential voice in the African American community as far as literature.”

Dr. Gaines is most recognized for his novels The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying. Through these works, he became a voice for black people in the south.

Dr. Gaines also directly contributed to the success of many people in southern communities as a professor. Attendees of the unveiling were honored to learn about his widespread impact.

“Actually coming to the event and hearing how he’s contributed to so many other great scholars and out of state scholars. It’s just amazing to hear,” says Lena Foster, ULL student.

The official dedicator of the stamp, David Moak, believes this ceremony was even more special because it was held only an hour away from where Gaines grew up, in a community that Dr. Gaines helped to nurture.

The stamp was issued as a forever stamp. It is equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one ounce price.