Celebrating Black History Month

Tue, 02/13/2018
Black History Month

History is often reduced to a handful of memorable moments and events.  In Black history, those events often include courageous stories like those of The Underground Railroad and historic moments like the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But these are only a few of the significant and important events to know and remember.

In an effort to honor this expansive and growing history, Black History Month was established by way of a weekly celebration in February known as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson. But just as Black history is more than a month, so too are the numerous events and figures that are often overlooked during it.

The hair brush, Lawn mower, cellphone, refrigerator, and thanks to heaven, the air condition were all the fruits of African American inventor’s creative laboring. Gerald Lawson, an engineer and inventor is the reason why disc-based home video games exist.

Onesimus, an enslaved African, describes to Cotton Mather the African method of inoculation against smallpox. The technique, later used to protect American Revolutionary War soldiers, is perfected in the 1790's by British doctor Edward Jenner's use of a less virulent organism.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs the first successful operation on a human heart. (The patient, a victim of a chest stab wound, survived and lived a normal life for twenty years after the operation.)

Dr. William Augustus Hinton developed the Hinton Test for diagnosing syphilis. He later developed an improved version, the Hinton-Davies Test, in the 1930s; and finally,

For 42 years, mathematician Gladys West worked at the naval base in Dahlgren, Virginia, as part of the team that developed the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the 1950s and 1960s, according to the Stamford Advocate.

References:

https://www.theatlantavoice.com/articles/celebrate-black-history-month-when-you-use-your-gps-remember-gladys-west/

http://guides.mclibrary.duke.edu/blackhistorymonth/chronology

Posted by: 
Dr. Stephanie Pough, Assistant Professor, CW School of Allied Health