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celebrates black history


ground-breaking scientists and inventors

  • Raye Montague is the first person to design a U.S. Navy ship using a computer and she is considered a “hidden figure”.

  • Gladys West is an African American mathematician, who was behind the creation of the GPS.

  • Patricia Bath is the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.

  • In 1914, Garrett Morgan patented a breathing device in the form of a canvas hood—a precursor to the modern gas mask.

  • Marie M. Daly was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States.

  • Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., Ph.D. is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and a former NASA astronaut, who was the first African American in space.

  • Hazel R. O'Leary was the first black person and woman to serve as the secretary of energy.

5 things you probably didn't know about black history

1. "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was originally a poem and was adopted as the "Black National Anthem" by the NAACP as their official theme song.

2. A stanza from “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was recited by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery during the benediction at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.

3. While attending Harvard, Carter G. Woodson and his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, initiated a program named Negro History and Literature Week, that turned into Black History Month.

4. Mae Carol Jemison was the first African American woman to travel into space.

5. The hair brush, lawn mower, cellphone, refrigerator and the air conditioner were all products of African American engineering.

5 facts about Thomas Dorsey: Composer of "take my hand, precious lord" 

  • Considered the Father of Black Gospel Music
  • His song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" was composed during the grief he suffered after his first wife died during childbirth and his first son died two weeks later
  • He established the 1st Black Gospel publishing company, Dorsey's House of Music
  • He was the founder and 1st president of the National Convention of Gospel Choir and Choruses
  • 1st African American elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame