Black female scientists and inventors have contributed and given a lot for the development of science and technology that should be marked more often.
We all know the names of outstanding male inventors throughout history, but what about women scientists? Numerous women have also developed groundbreaking ideas and creations to science, technology, and our daily lives.
All these women had to face many hardships to reach their goals. As for black female scientists and inventors, besides sexism, they also had to face racial discrimination as well, hence making their goals even more difficult to reach.
Down below you can find the list of some distinguished black female scientists and inventors whose innovations have improved our world in different ways.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #1 | Mae Carol Jemison
I want to make sure we use all our talent, not just 25 percent. Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.
American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut Mae C. Jemison decided to pursue her childhood dream when she applied to NASA’s astronaut program. In 1988 Mae became the first African American female astronaut in the history of NASA.
In 1992 she made another breakthrough when she traveled to space in the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Also, Jemison is the fifth black astronaut. She holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, and the humanities.
By the way, this African American scientist has appeared as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #2 | Marie Van Brittan Brown
While today home security system is more advanced than ever, back in the 1960s the idea of a home security system device seemed almost unthinkable. But this African-American inventor, Marie Van Brittan Brown took matters into her own hands and created a closed-circuit television security system.
This later became the predecessor to the modern home security system.
This black female inventor far ahead of her time needed a way to feel safer in her house as the crime in her neighborhood was high. So, she designed a security system that had a camera which could slide up and down and anything the camera picked up appeared on the monitor.
Additionally, a person could also unlock or lock a door with a remote control. A set of two-way microphones enabled the user not only to see who was at the door but also talk with that person.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #3 | Shirley Jackson
Shirley Ann Jackson has made numerous contributions to sciences concerning to telecommunications and has been credited with making a lot of advances in science. She is the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Also, she is the first black female president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the USA.
Today we have much to be grateful to her for such inventions as the touch-tone telephone, caller ID, the fax machine, call waiting and the fiber-optic cable.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #4 | Jane Wright
A major accomplishment in cancer treatment was the development of chemotherapy in the 1940s. It refers to the use of chemical agents that kill cancer cells by causing defects in the cell cycle, making it more difficult for cancer cells to spread.
African American oncologist Jane Wright was an instrumental figure in developing cancer treatments. During her career, she broke multiple race and gender barriers and become one of the most deserved physician-scientists in modern medicine.
She discovered hundreds of drugs with the potential to kill human tumors. The result of her work restructured cancer research and how physicians treat cancer.
Overall, Dr. Wright was one of those rare people whose compassion and intellect worked together to truly make the world a better place.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #5 | Jeanne Spurlock
This distinguished African American psychiatrist brought awareness of the effects of such issues as poverty, racism, sexism on health to the medical community.
Prior to her, the impact of discrimination and its factors of stress were rarely acknowledged or investigated in relation to health. But she took the initiative and researched all these factors, including the impact of racism on childhood development and ways to approach therapy for the people of color.
Jeanne Spurlock broke a ton of ground for black psychologists through her publications and her role in academia. Along with other awards and honors, she was posthumously awarded the American Medical Women’s Association’s highest honor, the “Elizabeth Blackwell Award”.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #6 | Betty Harris
This talented scientist and inventor received a degree in chemistry from Southern University and from Atlanta University. Furthermore, Betty Harris earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.
Even though Betty worked in the sphere of hazardous waste cleanup and contamination, her main expertise was the area of explosives. Her research for patenting a field test that identifies explosive chemicals led her to obtain a patent.
By the way, Betty Harris received the New Mexico Governor’s Trailblazer Award for her great achievements. But what’s more thrilling she also worked with the Girl Scouts in order to create a chemistry badge so that young girls can be awarded for their passion for science.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #7 | Sarah Breedlove
I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.
Sarah Breedlove, aka Madam C.J. Walker, was the wealthiest black woman in America of her time. Fascinating is that she is not only the first self-made African American but the first self-made millionaire woman of any race in American.
This entrepreneur and philanthropist began experiencing hair loss at a very young age as this was a very common problem at the time. That was the time when Madam C.J. Walker began experimenting with different products eventually creating her own special shampoos and hair treatments.
So, Sarah made her fortune by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products such as “Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower” and many other products.
Designed specifically for black women her products were completely unique and popular. Due to her success, she managed to open her own factory and expanded her company internationally. As she once noted she wanted to be a millionaire not for herself, but for the good she could do with it.
Black Female Scientists and Inventors #8 | Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson is a total math boss whose calculations effected on some of the most significant missions of the space age. Recently, Nasa opened a new research and development facility that is named in her honor.
During her extraordinary career, she challenged racial and gender restrictions and was involved with many of the greatest achievements in space. She calculated the trajectories, emergency backup return paths and many other things for numerous flights from Project Mercury, including the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon.
Also, she did some calculations for the plans for a mission to Mars. It’s noteworthy that her calculations were critical to the success of these missions.
In 2015, the ex-President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the highest US civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. He called her an innovator who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing to the people that everyone can excel at math and science.
By this token, you might also know her as the star of the popular movie ‘Hidden Figures’. This biographical drama movie tells Johnson’s story and the incredible untold history of investments of black women during the space race.
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