Blackness not hinderance to intellectual prowess


IN this last part of the series, ‘the black inventors’, we shall look at the blacks of America who actually invented or participated in the great inventions of our time. There was a black man known as Lewis Latimer who worked as a draftsman for Alexander Graham-bell and Thomas Edison.
Alexander Graham-bell is credited as the inventor of the telephone, metal detector and hearing aids.
Thomas Edison was the inventor of the light bulb and motion picture telegraph.
Lewis Latimer assisted in these great inventions in many ways and made immeasurable contributions just like Vivien Thomas when he worked with Alfred Blalock.
However, because of their colour and the times they lived in, which were the times of slavery; such blacks did not get much credit for their great work.
Lewis is remembered as the inventor of the water closet.
He was a member of a group of intellectuals called Edison’s pioneers.
His participation in the invention of the light bulb caused him to become an expert witness for light bulb litigation on numerous occasions.
Lewis also made his own light bulbs.
There later came yet another black man called Lloyd Quaterman who would live out a legacy similar to that of Lewis Latimer.
Lloyd Quaterman is mostly remembered for working with Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi.
In our current era, Albert Einstein is one of the most well known intellectuals and scientists on earth.
Lloyd worked alongside Einstein and like Latimer before him; his intellectual capacity had been revered by these whites regardless of the false myth of black intellectual inferiority which was wide spread in America.
Lloyd was one of the only black Americans who participated in a project called the ‘Manhattan project’.
This project involved the making of atomic bombs, one of which was eventually used by the USA to blow up the island of Hiroshima during the Second World War. Albert Einstein was also involved in this Manhattan project which would later prove to be infamous.
Lewis also assisted in the development of the first nuclear reactor for electric powered submarines.
The likes of Lloyd were living evidence to counter this degrading notion about black intellectuality which was and largely continues to be held by whites. Unfortunately, some blacks are also falling for this notion, thus giving them an inferiority complex and limitations to realising their true potential.
The steam operated propeller for boats was designed by a black man called Benjamin Montgomery.
The ironing board which is now a common household item was invented by a black woman called Sarah Boone.
She invented the ironing board while trying to find an easier way of ironing sleeves of women’s garments.
This was in the 1800s, before slavery was abolished in the USA.
After the abolishment of slavery, more blacks became known and credited for various intellectual achievements in numerous fields.
The railway telegraph was invented by a black man called Granville Woods.
It was known as a synchronous multiplex railway telegraph and it was largely used for fast communication in those times.
The fire safe was invented by a black man called Henry Brown.
Charles Ward Chappelle was another great intellectual who used his intellectuality in the sophisticated field of l To page 20
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making airplanes.
Charles was black and he was successful in his plane making passion as he presented a long distance air plane which he had personally designed in the USA. The first gas mask was invented by a black man called Morgan Garrett.
Morgan was also the first man to make a traffic signal and now both the gas mask and traffic signals are commonly used, though few know that they were invented by a black man.
In our generation, almost everything modern is wrongly attributed to the whites, because they come from the West.
Little do we know that in the West, many of the inventions are actually attributed to the blacks.
The wind-powered clothes dryer was invented by a black man called L. C Bailey. The refrigerated truck systems were invented by a black man called Johns Fredrick McKinley.
Black nations in Africa are at times limited by lack of access to books, yet we possess the same potential and also the resources to invent great things like the black Americans.
The Western form of education in Africa has largely worked on grooming blacks to become an effective workforce and not entrepreneurs and innovators.
However, when Africans go abroad to study and they are exposed to the appropriate literature, among them come great innovators.
An Ethiopian called Yohannes Haile Selassie who studied in the USA after emigrating there would eventually become a renowned paleoanthropologist and one of the world’s foremost authorities on early human remains.
This proves that it is not the intellectual capacity of Africans which lacks and causes us to lag behind or to not participate in the inventions and intellectual achievements of modern times, but rather it is the lack of exposure to the appropriate literature and technology.
Africa is referred to by whites as the mother of the Third World.
This parasitical nature of the Europeans and Americans has caused several African nations which produce plenty food and minerals to starve from hunger and poverty because their former colonisers are still enjoying those resources in the name of colonial benefits.
It now calls for us black people of Africa to awaken ourselves from this hypnotisation by whites and to seek helpful and up to date knowledge so as to counter our post-colonial problems and improve our livelihood.
Knowledge knows no colour and can be found in places like China and Iran, which are currently making more intellectual and developmental progress than Western counties.
Zimbabwe under President Mugabe chose to break colonial ties with Britain and left the Commonwealth.
On top of that, Zimbabweans reacquired their land from the white settlers and this is a necessary measure to African liberation that is yet to be taken by all other former colonies of the likes of Britain and France.
Zimbabwe has implemented a Look-East policy which entails making ties with countries like China, India and Iran.
Once the language barriers are conquered, the Africans will finally get a fair opportunity to acquire up to date education and will in turn be as competitive as the Western and Eastern nations in terms of technological and economic advancement.
To conclude, let these examples of black achievements from our past and current era, serve as evidence to humans of every race, that blackness is not at all a hindrance to intellectual prowess.


  1. what a well written piece but very funny how no none talks about these black people are potrayed as bieng too stupid to think or invent anything..but if you dig dipper you will be in for a big suprise…


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