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When you think of African-Americans you normally have vivid pictures of slavery, plantations, and the civil rights movement.  There is much more to African-American history then this.  Throughout American History, African-Americans have made many contributions not only to American culture but also to the technological advancements that have enabled the United States to become the single remaining superpower and the envy of the world in so many ways.

The list below is just a sampling of African-Americans that have made contributions to the development of the sciences, medicine, law, and the overall society in which we live. (Click on pictures for Reference links.)  These contributions range from the more common things we enjoy in our lives, such as Ice Cream, to their contributions to the more destructive Atomic Bomb.  Learn more about these people and others by clicking on the pictures for reference links or explore the links listed at the bottom of the page.

Some Famous African-Americans
George Washington Carver, Jr :

Lloyd Augustus Hall :
Chemist and Inventor

Dr. Samuel Lee Kountz, Jr. :
Kidney Specialist

James Andrew Harris :
Nuclear Chemist
John R. Cooper :
Chemist, Inventor

Percy Lavon Julian :
Chemist , Stamp issued January 29, 1993
Moddie Daniel Taylor :

James Ellis Lu Valle :

George Edward Alcorn, Jr. :
hysicist, Inventor

Norbert Rillieux :
Sugar Chemist and Inventor

George R. Carruthers :

Katherine G. Johnson :
Physicist, Space Scientist, Mathematician
J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. :
Physicist, Mathematician, Engineer (Chemical/Nuclear)

Elijah McCoy :
Inventor, Engineer

Lewis Howard Latimer :
Inventor, Engineer (Mechanical and Electrical)
Garrett Augustus Morgan :
Traffic Engineer

O.S. (Ozzie) Williams :
Aeronautical Engineer

Otis Boykin :

Madame C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker) :
Inventor, Businesswoman

Frederick McKinley Jones :
Granville T. Woods :

Philip Emeagwali  :
"A father of the internet"-CNN

Charles Richard Drew :
Physician, Surgeon

Suggested reading if you have a further interest in African-Americans and their many contributions to our way of life.

     Black inventors
     Aaseng, Nathan.

     A salute to Black scientists & inventors
     Empak Enterprises.

     Black pioneers of science and invention
     Haber, Louis.

     Black inventors of America
     Burt, McKinley.

     The hidden contributors : Black scientists and inventors in America
     Klein, Aaron E.

     African American firsts in science and technology
     Webster, Raymond B.

     African American inventors
     Sullivan, Otha Richard.

     To fathom more : African American scientists and inventors
     Jenkins, Edward Sidney.

     The colored inventor
     Baker, Henry E. (Henry Edwin).

Links of interest

PSU Links of interest  

Copyright © 2005, Last modified: 10/12/06
Carey S. Reed, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
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