A recently compiled list of leading black inventors, scientists, engineers and creators, men and women, provides a compelling survey of American achievement in innovation in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
This summary of breakthrough inventions is also a reminder of the struggles that were and are still faced by creators, but especially by those of color. The full list is worth perusing.
Many names jump out, among them, Elijah McCoy, David Crosthwaite, Jr., Katherine Johnson, Dr. Shirley Jackson, George Edward Alcorn, Jr., Lonnie Johnson, James E. West and George Washington Carver.
Historic advances are found in the area of chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine, a well as consumer products.
Some historians argue the list would be much longer if it were not for systemic racism. This makes the achievement of these creators all the more impressive. Take time to scrutinize what was invented, when and by whom, as well as the impact of those inventions on lives and businesses worldwide.
Video – Black Inventors
There are at least 50 videos that recognize African American achievement in innovation. Many are good. It is difficult to identify one that captures the breadth of this legacy. “Black Inventors of the 20th and 21st Century” (below) comes close.
The list of List of African-American inventors and scientists was compiled by Wikipedia editors.
For further reading, consider Keith C. Holmes’ Black Inventors – Crafting Over 200 Years of Success.
Image source: Wikipedia.com; YouTube.com