As you know, February is Black History Month. To celebrate, CNN and other media outlets are featuring something every day about African American life, history and achievement. And no one will be surprised to have such icons as Rosa Parks or Sojourner Truth highlighted. But did you know that Black women and men invented many things that made daily life easier?
For instance, Madam C. J. Walker created a line of hair products that made her the first black female millionaire. In 1892, Sarah Boone took the wooden block used for ironing added curves, made it collapsible and thus easier to use. The now common three-position traffic signal was invented by Garret Morgan in 1923. And the refrigerated truck was patented by Frederick McKinley Jones in 1940. Even the modern-day home security was co-invented by Mary Van Brittan Brown in 1966, when she and her husband used a camera that could slide in and out of four peepholes in their front door, and used a combination monitor/microphone to watch and speak to people at the door.
Along with the previously mentioned Rosa Parks and Sojourner Truth, there were other political and civil rights activists whose shoulders I stand on - Harriet Tubman the conductor of the Underground Railroad; Shirley Chisholm, Congresswoman from New York who was the first woman to run for President; Fannie Lou Hamer the Mississippi civil rights activist the Democratic party refused to seat at the 1964 Democratic National Convention; Barbara Jordan the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and later elected to Congress. And we have all been talking about Kamala Harris, Favorite daughter of California, the first woman elected Vice-President.
That’s just a little history for you. I’ll be back next month to highlight Women’s History Month
In the meantime, please continue to stay safe. Wear your mask, wash your hands and maintain social distance.