Overview of Black Leaders, Scientists and Inventors

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States of America http://www.biography.com/featured-biography/barack-obama/index.jsp

William Christopher Handy became known as the “Father of the Blues”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._C._Handy

Booker T. Washington was an African American educator who believed in uplifting yourself through education and economic advancement.
http://www.bartleby.com/1004/

Lewis H. Latimer was the only African American member of Thomas A. Edison’s team of scientists. He helped pave the way in the development of the electric light bulb.
http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/scientists/latimer.html

Andrew J. Beard invented the rotary engine on July 5, 1892.
http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/2149/
Andrew_J_Beard_was_a_great_inventor

Granville T. Woods invented the overhead conducting system
for the electric railway.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blwoods.htm

Guion S. Bluford, Jr. was the first African American in space.
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/bluford-gs.html

Elijah McCoy invented an automatic oiling device that allowed machines to be lubricated while they were still in use. Some say that this is where the expression “the real McCoy” originated.
http://www.inventions.org/culture/african/mccoy.html

Garrett Augustus Morgan invented the automatic traffic signal, as well as, the gas mask used by soldiers in World War I and by firemen in the early 1900’s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrett_A._Morgan

George Washington Carver discovered hundreds of new uses for crops such as the peanut. In addition, he developed methods of crop rotation that conserved nutrients in the soil.
http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa041897.htm

Jan Ernst Matzeliger invented a machine to make shoes that lasted in 1883.
http://www.inventions.org/culture/african/matzeliger.html