LIFE WITHOUT BLACK PEOPLE
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African-Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.
At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief. At last, they said, “No more crime, drugs, violence and welfare. All of the blacks have gone!”
Then suddenly, reality set in. The “NEW AMERICA” is not America at all — only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purvis invented the fountain pen, and Lee Burridge invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purvis invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Latimer, enlightened Edison and Bell and invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray, the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter H. Sammons invented the improved Straightening Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board and George T. Sampson invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.
Now, isn’t that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of blacks and African-Americans?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “By the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.” Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Dubois, etc…….
Here are a few more relatively unknown, yet everyday HEROIC contributions that will confound anyone’s vision of life without Black people:
Some of the world’s most popular inventions were created by African-Americans, dating back to 1820, when Thomas Jennings, believed to be the first African-American inventor to receive a patent, created a more efficient dry cleaning process. Many years later, Judy W. Reed became the first African-American female inventor with her hand-operated dough kneader and roller. Reed, who was illiterate, signed the patent with an ‘X’, as did many others, both during and post-slavery. That ‘X’ gave rise to many falsely claimed ‘ownership’ of early inventions, that to date, we either credit to whites or assume belong to any others except African-Americans. The powers of mis-education!! Yet, we prefer to not think about these facts omitted from history.
Sidebar: If blacks were originally slaves in this country, then it is safe to assume that they were the laborers. Thusly, isn’t is common sense to conceive that without possession of rights as citizens, they could never claim rightful ownership of anything innovative?
Policies, practices and preferred perspectives disallowed such facts to become common knowledge. Therefore, public education could not allow these discoveries to be taught to school children-black or white.
Lesson: Teach outside and beyond the textbooks, as they still promote a Eurocentric version of history.
No more Black History Month? Every month should be embedded with black history in educational settings, if we taught and sought to tell the complete and logical truth!
Here are other little known and sadly, untaught inventions by African-Americans:
George Crum (1822-1914)
Chef George Crum spent the summer of 1853 working at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where thickly cut, French fried potatoes were a popular menu item. When a customer complained that their fries were too thick to eat and sent them back to the kitchen, Crum became agitated and reacted by slicing the potatoes as thin as he possibly could, frying them and sending the crunchy brown chips back out to the guest. The guest loved the crisps and other guests began asking for them as well. They soon gained popularity and were called Crum’s Saratoga Chips. In 1860, when Crum opened his own restaurant, Crumbs House, each table came with a basket of potato chips. Crum never patented or attempted to distribute his potato chips, but has been credited as the creator of the widely popular snack.
The Blood Bank
Inventor: Charles Richard Drew M.D. (1904-1950)
Dr. Drew was a medical doctor and surgeon who created the idea of a blood bank and a system for the long-term preservation of blood plasma. His doctoral dissertation at Columbia University covered the condition of blood stored in blood banks and the method of storing blood as plasma to increase storage life. He later supervised the blood-plasma division of New York City’s Blood Transfusion Association, which was involved in collecting blood for the British Army. When America went to war in 1941, Dr. Drew was named as director of the blood bank for the National Research Council, collecting blood for the U.S. army and navy, and setting the groundwork for the Red Cross collecting and banking procedures. The storage of blood in plasma form has saved many lives since Dr. Drew brought the process forward in the 1930s.
Year patented: 1912
Inventor: Garrett Morgan (1877–1963)
In 1912, Morgan created a Safety Hood and patented it as a Breathing Device, which later came to be known as the Gas Mask. Morgan’s Gas Mask consisted of a hood with two long tubes, one allowing in clean air and the other allowing the user to exhale air out of the hood. Fire and police departments across the country began placing orders. With the outbreak of World War I and the use of poisonous gases, Morgan’s Gas Mask was utilized by the United States Army, saving the lives of thousands of soldiers.
Year patented: 1991
Inventor: Lonnie G. Johnson (1949- )
After a successful career as an Air Force and NASA scientist, Lonnie G. Johnson conceived his most famous invention in 1982, when he conducted an experiment at home on a heat pump that used water instead of Freon and as a result, his homemade nozzle shot a spray of water across the room. Johnson and his partner, Bruce D’Andrade, created a workable prototype of the SuperSoaker® in 1989 which became the world’s first high-performance, pressurized water gun. They filed for a joint patent, which was granted in 1991, and the SuperSoaker became the number-one selling toy in the country with more than $200 millions dollars in sales. Overall, Johnson has earned more than 80 patents, with more than 20 pending. He continues to invent in the areas of thermo and fluid dynamics, as well as toys.
Year patented: 1883
Inventor: Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852–1889)
As an apprentice in a shoe factory where he operated a sole-sewing machine, Jan Ernst Matzeliger was responsible for attaching different parts of a shoe together. At the time, no machines existed that could attach the upper part of a shoe to the sole, therefore it had to be done by hand. “Hand Lasters” were able to produce approximately 50 pairs of shoes a day. In 1882, Matzeliger perfected a shoe lasting machine that was able to complete 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day. By 1889 the demand of the shoe lasting machine was overwhelming and The Consolidated Lasting Machine Co. was formed, where Matzelinger was given huge blocks of stock for his invention. His machine had revolutionized the entire shoe industry in the U.S. and around the world.
If there are any facts that you dispute, or doubt, then fact-check it. You will be , hopefully, pleasantly surprised. Continue to perform research of inventions/inventors, and you will discover widely and definitely, strategically hidden knowledge of Black people, in America and around the world. Make a promise, not to me, but to yourself, that the more you learn, the more you will teach, and as culturally proficient equity-driven professionals, you can consider yourselves parts of the solution. Educate unafraid, and children will become better global citizens. Teach to diversity with respect for diversity. If not, we will continue to serve as parts of the problems we see. Be the change, teach the change, model the change and life will change!
How can we imagine life without Black people??!!!