famous legends

Collection by Michele West • Last updated 8 days ago

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Though Thomas Edison is recognized as the inventor of the light bulb, African-American inventor Lewis Latimer played an important role in its development. In 1881, Latimer patented a method for making carbon filaments, allowing light bulbs to burn for hours instead of minutes. Latimer also drafted the drawings that helped Alexander Graham Bell receive a patent for the telephone.

Famous Black Inventors

Black inventors like George Washington Carver, Madam C.J. Walker, Lonnie G. Johnson, Garrett Morgan and Patricia Bath are among history's most revered geniuses.

Shirley Chisholm (1924 - 2005)  "Unbought and Unbossed" Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress, a 1972 candidate for president, and a life long advocate for women's and civil rights.

Shirley Chisholm: Visionary Videos: NVLP: African American History

Bert Williams. You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but Williams was one of the first, wealthiest and most famous black comedians of his day. Booker T. Washington wrote of Williams: "He has done more for our race than I have. He has smiled his way into people's hearts; I have been obliged to fight my way." And WC Fields said of him, "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."

Bert Williams

One of hundreds of thousands of free digital items from The New York Public Library.

Howlin' Wolf Born Chester Burnett, Howlin' Wolf, was a Blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. He was born in West Point, MS.

Music Photography, Vintage Prints & Art

Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, whose reign lasted from 1908 to 1915, was also the first African American pop culture icon....

Stream Unforgivable Blackness | Ken Burns | PBS

Jack Johnson was the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World. Enter the ring in Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, a provocative PBS documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns.

George Washington Carver changed lunchtime sandwiches forever when he invented peanut butter. Born a slave, Carver didn’t attend college until he was 30 years old, but he went on to create 400 new uses for peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and pecans

George Washington Carver - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society

Kansas Historical Society

Rosa Lee Ingram & her 2 sons received the death penalty in 1948 for murdering a white landowner in rural Georgia. Civil Right activist represented them as an example of the emerging Cold War Politics. In 1947 Ms Ingram was angrily approached by John Stratford about livestock that roamed onto his property. Mr Stratford sexually attacked her. As she fought him off her teenage sons  stuck him with farm equipment. Their case was appealed & their sentences were reduced to life in prison.

Black Then

#Rosa Lee Ingram was working on land she sharecropped near the small town of Ellaville, Georgia, on November 4, 1947. A white neighbor, John Stratford confronted her angrily about some livestock that had roamed onto his property. It was told that Strafford attempted to sexually assault his neighbor Rosa Lee Ingram. As Rosa Lee Ingram fought ...

Vivien Thomas, African-American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s.  Thomas was also offered the position of Chief of Surgery at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins in 1941.

Vivien Thomas, African-American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s. Thomas was also offered the position of Chief of Surgery at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins in 1941.

Dr. James E. West Electret Microphone Inventor Ninety percent of microphones used today are based on the ingenuity of James Edward West, an African-American inventor born in 1931 in Prince Edwards County, VA. If you’ve ever talked on the telephone, you’ve probably used his invention.

Dr. James E. West: Electret Microphone Inventor

Ninety percent of microphones used today are based on the ingenuity of Dr. James E. West, an African-American inventor who developed the mic in the 1960s.

Mike Tyson   February 25, 1989 Boxer Mike Tyson becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World by defeating challenger Frank Bruno of England.

Mike Tyson February 25, 1989 Boxer Mike Tyson becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World by defeating challenger Frank Bruno of England.