George Washington Carver (1864-1943) Carver is a well-known African-American. Who isn’t aware of his work with peanuts? He’s on this list, though, because of one of his contributions that we don’t often hear about: The Tuskegee Institute Movable School. Carver established this school to introduce modern agricultural techniques and tools to farmers in Alabama. Movable schools are now used around the world.
Edward Bouchet (1852-1918) Bouchet was the son of a former slave who had moved to New Haven, Connecticut. Only three schools there accepted Black students at the time, so Bouchet’s educational opportunities were limited.
However, he managed to get admitted to Yale and became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. and the 6th American of any race to earn one in physics.
Although segregation prevented him from attaining the kind of position he should have been able to get with his outstanding credentials (6th in his graduating class), he taught for 26 years at the Institute for Colored Youth, serving as an inspiration to generations of young African-Americans.
Black History Little Known Facts
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (1745?-1818)
DuSable was a Black man from Haiti is who is credited with founding Chicago. His father was a Frenchman in Haiti and his mother was an African slave.
It’s not clear how he arrived in New Orleans from Haiti, but once he did, he traveled from there to what is now modern-day Peoria, Illinois. Although he was not the first to pass through the area, he was the first to establish a permanent settlement, where he lived for at least twenty years.
He set up a trading post on the Chicago River, where it meets Lake Michigan, and became a wealthy man with a reputation as a man of good character and “sound business acumen.”
Black History Little Know Facts
Bessie Coleman (1892 -1926)
Bessie Coleman was one of 13 children born to a Native American father and an African-American mother.
They lived in Texas and faced the kinds of difficulties many Black Americans faced at the time, including segregation and disenfranchisement. Bessie worked hard in her childhood, picking cotton and helping her mother with the laundry she took in.
But Bessie didn’t let any of it stop her. She educated herself and managed to graduate from high school. After seeing some newsreels on aviation, Bessie became interested in becoming a pilot, but no U.S flight schools would accept her because she was Black and because she was female.
Lewis Latimer (1848-1928)
Latimer was the son of runaway slaves who had settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, Latimer got a job as an office boy in a patent office.
Because of his ability to draw, he became a draftsman, eventually getting promoted to be the head draftsman.
Undeterred, she saved enough money to go to France where she heard women could be pilots. In 1921, she became the first Black woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license.
Although he has a large number of inventions to his name, including a safety elevator, perhaps his greatest achievement is his work on the electric light bulb. We can thank him for the success of Edison’s lightbulb, which originally had a lifespan of just a few days.
It was Latimer who found a way to create a filament system that prevented the carbon in the filament from breaking, thereby extending the life of the lightbulb.
Thanks to Latimer, lightbulbs became cheaper and more efficient, which made it possible for them to be installed in homes and on the streets. Latimer was the only Black American on Edison’s elite team of inventors
CITATION Bainbridge, Carol. “Little Known Important Black Americans.”