History books have a trend of not portraying all of the black people that have contributed to the way of life today. There are plenty of memorable individuals like Martin Luther King Jr, Booker T Washington, and Fredrick Douglass, but there are many more that the school system never cares to talk about. Here are seven black innovators that are not in your textbook, but should be made aware of.
Director, Jordan Peels, is an innovator of recent times. He’s one of the few black directors to have a major impact in pop movie culture. He brings new elements into the theme of Thriller/Horror. Most importantly, he does it all with a leading black cast.
George Crum created the legendary snack, the potato chip, by accident. While attempting to make homemade fries, he cut the potatoes wide, but thin on accident in the Summer of 1853. Instead of throwing them away and starting over, he salted them and fried them anyways. The result was the snack that we still love to this day!
Keith L. Black is an American neurosurgeon specializing in the treatment of brain tumors and a prolific campaigner for funding of cancer treatment. His research in brain tumors has been a great help to the campaign to fund cancer treatment.
Thomas L. Jennings
Thomas L. Jennings is the first African American to be granted a patent. He was granted the patent on March 3rd, 1821 for a dry cleaning process called “dry scouring”, which he used in his tailoring business. Essentially, he created dry cleaning and is the reason for the process we use today. Afterward, Jennings became active in working for his race and civil rights for the African-American community.
The second African American inventor to ever receive a patent was Henry Blair. He received his patent for his first invention: the Seed-Planter. It was patented on October 14, 1834, which allowed farmers to plant more corn using less labor in a smaller amount of time.
Jan Matzeliger invented the shoemaking machine in 1883. It simplified the creation of shoes and offered more shoes to consumers for less. Beforehand, shoes were all made by hand! One could say if it wasn’t for Matzeliger, there would be no sneaker craze like there is today because it’d be even more expensive to create.
Did you know, elevator doors used to only be opened with a crank. Alexander Miles wanted an easier way for people to ascend to or descend from their desired floors. He invented the automatic elevator door on October 11, 1887, as a means to make life easier every day.
Written By Brandon Ogbu