4.3LikeItIs_TutWife

Afro-Ingenuity

Over the past century, Afrikan and Afrikan-Amerikan scholars, such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Ivan Van Sertima, Charles S. Finch, Beatrice Lumpkin, Wini Warren, and Hattie Carwell, and many others continue to recover long-denied histories about Afrika’s true gifts to humanity from past Black civilizations of Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Ghana.

The coalescence of this reclaimed information interestingly suggests a traceable lineage of Afrikan creativity and brilliance. Today, communities worldwide continue to benefit from the ingenious heritage of Afrikan people.

history is undeniable.
Much has been highlighted and written about Afrikan decendents’ shaping the popular sports and entertainment culture of the United States. However, the same attention is not given to people of Afrikan descent participating in the world of science and innovation. It was called Afro-Ingenuity (before it was termed ‘Ni–a Riggin’), and for centuries, even the staunchest oppressors of that genius have marveled at the resourcefullness, intelligence and capacity of colored workers ability to make ‘something out of nothing.’ Beyond that there are still prolific numbers of Afrikan-Amerikans making notable accomplishments as astronauts, chemists, inventors, information-technology specialists, neurosurgeons, cancer specialists, electronic engineers and holistic practitioners centered in the Afrikan tradition of healing.

Elijah McCoy
(1843-1929)
Born to parents who fled slavery in Kentucky via the Underground Railroad. McCoy was born free in Canada, raised in US and at age 15, he traveled to Edinburgh in Scotland for an apprenticeship, and returned as a mechanical engineer. McCoy developed an automatic lubricator which allowed trains and ships to run faster and longer without stopping for maintenance. The invention was so good, it was referred to as “the real McCoy,” in order to differentiate it from other pale imitations that popped up on the market.

Granville T. Woods
(1856-1910) Often referred to as the ‘Brain Behind Edison’ or ‘Black Edison’, Woods invented numerous contraptions for use in the railroad business, making him one of the most globally-recognized black inventors. His most well-known creation was the Multiplex Telegraph – a communication device that connects trains with nearby stations.

Lewis Latimer
(1848-1928) Latimer’s greatest invention was the carbon filament. A vital component of the light bulb, this piece of metal features in many modern day filament lamps.

Garrett Morgan
(1877-1963) The creator of one of the world’s first effective gas masks. He also invented the first real traffic signal for which he received a patent in 1923, courtesy of the US Government.

Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) Her contributions to the hairdressing industry will never be forgotten, especially her invention of a hair-growing lotion. This product, as well as the ‘Walker System’ – a nationally-operating corporation dedicated to providing employment opportunities for black women – made her the first Afrikan-American female millionaire.

Otis Boykin (1920-1982)
The inventor of 28 useful electronic devices, Boykin’s famed for the development of IBM computers, pacemakers (used by medical staff to correct faulty heartbeats), and an electronic resistor used in controlled missiles and other devices.

Dr. Patricia E. Bath (1949-Present) Dr. Bath holds the record as the first Afrikan-Amerikan doctor to be given a patent for a device with medical intentions. The laser created by Bath can cure cataracts, and her other inventions have vastly improved the effectiveness of some forms of eye surgery.

Charles R. Drew
(1904-1950) As the major influence behind the creation of the ‘blood bank’, Drew managed to achieve something great for the medical community and has provided life-saving procedures for millions of lives.

hold your head up! Regardless of the fact that these truths are removed from tv, textbooks and school curriculum, you must empower, educate and inform your children of their extraordinary legacy and the myriad of contributions Afrikan-Amerikans have made to humanity. Remain encouraged, it may not be easy, but (in spite of the injustices) excellence is in your DNA.