In Brookhaven hamlet, one post office is different from the rest — it’s home to what U.S. postal officials believe is Brookhaven Town’s first black postmaster.
Genine Plummer has been postmaster at the government office along Montauk Highway for almost eight years, organizing mail and giving orders, but earlier this month she was recognized by postal executives for her continued hard work and dedication.
Plummer, 55, grew up in North Babylon and briefly attended SUNY Old Westbury before curiosity led her into the world of mail.
She said she always found postage interesting, thinking about where letters and cards were being sent to and why.
“What we do is fascinating,” said Plummer, adding that she looks forward to seeing mail destined for Japan, Germany, England and France — all places she’s never been to.
On her office wall hangs a framed portrait of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks refusing to relinquish her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, for which the U.S. Postal Service created a 50th-year anniversary commemorative stamp.
It’s a reminder to Plummer of how far the country and post offices have come.
There was little fanfare when Plummer became Brookhaven’s first black postmaster, and even she didn’t realize the significance.
“We believe she is the first,” said Maureen Marior, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service’s northeast region. The postal service doesn’t track race by position, but it used records to narrowly determine the designation is accurate.
Marior said Plummer demonstrated desire and good customer service intangibles that allowed her to move up the ranks.
In February, Brookhaven officials invited Plummer to speak at Town Hall after the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its latest Black Heritage Series stamp, which depicted Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
It all was a bit much for Plummer, who said she was just looking for work when she started as a temporary worker at a post office in Hicksville more than 20 years ago, rising during her career from counter clerk to letter carrier to eventually postmaster.
“I was always interested in mail,” she said. “It was different; not what you would expect.”
Plummer, who oversees three carriers and three window clerks responsible for helping 1,200 customers annually, said mail plays an important role in society, especially in periods of war when American soldiers don’t have access to electronics. “It keeps people going,” Plummer said.
The job also includes some perks.
Plummer said actress Isabella Rossellini, a Bellport resident whose mother is film legend Ingrid Bergman, occasionally used to come into the post office.
From there to here
Plummer attended SUNY Old Westbury
She was a counter clerk and mail carrier in Hicksville and other post offices
Plummer became postmaster in 2008