In the spirit of Black History Month, I would like to do my part in the dispensation of information. For whatever reason we tend to play it safe when it comes to talking about prominent women and men of color. The same individuals are lauded over year after year. Great individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Frederick Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, and even Malcom X. All of them, along with their accomplishments, are unrivaled. But the achievements of those of African descent go all the way back to the very inception of this country.
We rarely, if ever, hear about persons such as Martin R. Delany who was a Harvard trained physician that was the 1st black Major of the U.S. Army, commissioned by President Lincoln during the Civil War.
Or, how about Augustus Tolton who was the 1st black man ordained in the Catholic priesthood in 1886.
What about Ben Bey (i.e. Benjamin Banneker), who was the 1st black man to construct a working clock.
Or, even Jean Baptiste who’s accredited with establishing the 1st permanent settlement that has become known as the city of Chicago.
This is to only name a few brilliant individuals whose stars have been shining ever so bright, but aren’t acknowledged for whatever reason.
I just thought I should share with everyone some of the names of women and men of color who have contributed in ways that without them, we would not be able to enjoy alot of the amenities we are used to having:
Lee Burridge —> the typewriter
Alice Parker —> the heating furnace
J.H. Dickenson —> the record player arm
Joseph Jackson —> the programable remote control
Granville T. Woods —> the electric railway system
Frederick Jones —> the air conditioning unit & the thermostat and temperature control system
John W. Reed —> the rollling pin
W.H. Richardson —> the baby carriage/stroller
John A. Burr —> the lawn mower
Sarah Boone —> the ironing board
Joan Clark —> the medicine tray
Edmond Berger —> the spark plug
Michael Harvey —> the lantern
Joseph W. Smith —> the lawn sprinkler
J.W. West —> the wagon
Tom Carrington —> the range oven/stove
L.R. Johnson —-> the bicycle frame
Garrett A. Morgan —> the electric traffic signal & the gas mask
Anna Mangin —> the pastry fork
R.A. Butler —> the train alarm
Alexander Miles —> the elevator
F.W. Leslie —> the envelope seal
Solomon Harper —> thermostatic control hair curlers
Thomas W. Stewart —> the mop
G.E. Becket —> the mailbox
William Purvis —> the hand stamp & the fountain pen
Lloyd Ray —> the dust pan
W.D. Davis —> the riding saddle
George F. Grant —> the golf tee
John Johnson —> the wrench
Walter Simmons —> the comb
J.L. Love —> the pencil sharpener
A.C. Richardson —> the bottle
James Robinson —. the lunch box
John Standard —> the refrigerator
Augusta Jackson —> ice cream
William Harwell —> the space shuttle arm used to capture satellites
Richard B. Spikes —> the automatic gear shift & the multiple barrel machine gun
As you can see, if not for the ingenuity of the indigenous people of this planet, we would not be able to live as comfortable as we are living today. And please remember that all achievements mentioned here is only a drop in the bucket.
The contributions of Africans and those of African descent are too numerous to even try to list! Indigenous people from all over the world are the ones responsible for the initial formulation, institutionalization, and propagation of art, science, and religion.
It’s imperative that we learn the history of the entire human family. In doing so, we will learn how over eons of time, and through many migrations, humanity would always come together in an attempt to better themselves and their living conditions. In unity they thrived. But in their division and contempt for one other, they perished.
Love, harmony, and mercy are qualities that flow from the inside out. Truth, justice, and peace are mere manifestatiins of the former. While knowledge of self is the root from which all of it springs forth.
DONOVAN DAVID CLARK
Categories: Donovan Clark