Tag: Black History Month

Founding Member of the National Organization of Women

Merging the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements, the vivacious, cause-driven activist and lawyer Florynce “Flo” Kennedy brought new meaning to intersectional feminism, embodying genuine inclusion like no one before her. Known for her incendiary wit and eccentric style, she was typically seen in her signature cowboy hats, playful peace sign earrings, and...

Black-Founded Major Newspaper in the United States, The Chicago Defender

Georgia native Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded, edited, and published the Chicago Defender, for decades the country’s dominant African American newspaper. Through the pages of the Defender, Abbott exercised enormous influence on the rise of the black community in Chicago, Illinois, and on national African American culture. Family and Education Abbott was...

Inventor of The Foil Electret Microphone in 1960

If you’ve ever used a cellphone, hearing aid, or baby monitor, listened to live or recorded music, or recorded anything yourself, you’re indebted to James West. West is the co-inventor of the electret microphone used in all of those devices and more. It’s estimated that over 90 percent of...

First Black Man To Become a Lawyer in 1854

Overview John Mercer Langston’s career as a North American 19th-century Black activist, writer, attorney, politician and diplomat was nothing short of remarkable. Langston’s mission to help Black Americans become full citizens spanned the fight for freedom of enslaved people to establishing a law school at Howard University. Achievements Elected...

First African American Female Doctor To Receive a Medical Patent

Who Was Patricia Bath? Patricia Bath was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the...

Inventor of High-Powered Water Gun “The Super Soaker”

Who Is Lonnie Johnson? African American engineer and inventor Lonnie Johnson earned his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University and went on to work for the U.S. Air Force and the NASA space program. After tinkering with the invention of a high-powered water gun, Johnson’s Super Soaker became a top-selling item...

First African Woman to Lead The World Trade Organization [5 min read]

The path has been cleared for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization after South Korea’s candidate pulled out of the race for the job. Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean trade minister, announced her decision to withdraw in a televised briefing on...

The Black Man Behind America’s First Clock [5 min read]

Benjamin Banneker was an African American astronomer, clockmaker, and publisher who was instrumental in surveying the District of Columbia. He used his interest and knowledge of astronomy to create almanacs that contained information about the motions of the Sun, Moon, and planets.  Early Life Benjamin Banneker was born in...