Sciences

A glossary of important Black (African) American individuals from the past and present. A knowledgeable resource for all, brought to you with an artistic touch.

Dr. Alexa Canady

Dr. Alexa Canady

Alexa Canady is a leading pediatric neurosurgeon and educator. Her “patient-care first” approach, her ability to set her patients at ease, and her down-to-earth attitude have all contributed to her success as a pediatric neurosurgeon.

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Guion Bluford

Guion Bluford

Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., Ph.D., is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut, who is the first African American and the second person of African descent to go to space.

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Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse and an innovator. In 1966, she invented the home security system along with her husband Albert Brown, an electronics technician. In the same year, they applied for a patent for their innovative security system, which was granted in 1969.

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George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver, was an American agricultural scientist and inventor. He actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion (while a professor at Tuskegee Institute).

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W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Du Bois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

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Matthew Henson

Matthew Henson

Matthew Alexander Henson was an American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic over a period of nearly 23 years. He is best known for his participation in the 1908-1909 expedition that claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole on April 6, 1909.

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Zora Hurston

Zora Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was an influential author of African-American literature, anthropologist, and filmmaker, who portrayed racial struggles in the early-20th-century American South, and published research on Haitian Vodou.

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Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson, is an American physicist, and the eighteenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is the first African-American woman to have earned a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized human cell line and one of the most important cell lines in medical research.

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Alain Leroy Locke

Alain Leroy Locke

Alain Leroy Locke was an American writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. Distinguished in 1907 as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, Locke became known as the philosophical architect ‐ the acknowledged “Dean” ‐ of the Harlem Renaissance.

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Mary Mahoney

Mary Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States. In 1879, Mahoney was the first African American to graduate from an American school of nursing.

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Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy

Elijah J. McCoy was a Canadian-born inventor and engineer of African American descent who was notable for his 57 US patents, most having to do with the lubrication of steam engines.

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A. Phillip Randolph

A. Phillip Randolph

Asa Philip Randolph was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties. In 1925, he organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African-American labor union.

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Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz, also known as Betty X, was an American educator and civil rights advocate. She was the wife of Malcolm X. Along with her husband, Shabazz left the Nation of Islam in 1964.

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Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political/social activist. Walker was considered the wealthiest African-American businesseswoman and wealthiest self-made woman in America at the time of her death in 1919.

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Hosea Williams

Hosea Williams

Hosea Lorenzo Williams was an American civil rights leader, activist, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician. A former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., was a principal leader of the civil rights movement.

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Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Carter Godwin Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In February 1926, he launched the celebration of “Negro History Week”, the precursor of Black History Month.

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