Black History. Our History. Make History.

HISTORY MAKER

Dr. Shirley
Jackson

A theoretical physicist, Dr. Jackson has had a distinguished career that includes senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. She holds an S.B. in Physics, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics — both from MIT. She is the first African American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT — in any field — and has been a trailblazer throughout her career, including as the first African-American woman to lead a top-ranked research university.

“Do not be limited by what others expect of you, but confidently reach for the stars”

 

TRAILBLAZER

Rosalind
Brewer

As chief operating officer and group president for Starbucks, Roz Brewer leads the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), and Starbucks license stores as well as the global functions of marketing, technology, supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations.

Roz was appointed to the Starbucks board of directors in March 2017 and continues to serve on the board. Prior to joining Starbucks, Roz served as president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, the eighth largest U.S. retailer with sales of $57 billion for fiscal year 2016. … In 2018, Fortune ranked her #33 on its list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

HISTORY MAKER

Otis
Boykin

Boykin earned his first patent in 1959 for a wire precision resistor, which allowed for the designation of a precise amount of resistance for a specific purpose. This was followed by his 1961 patent for an electrical resistor that was both inexpensive and easy to produce. Additionally, according to U.S. patent No. 2,972,726, this resistor had the ability to “withstand extreme accelerations and shocks and great temperature changes without danger of breakage of the fine resistance wire or other detrimental effects.”

His resistor was quickly incorporated into a number of products, including guided missiles and IBM computers in the United States and overseas. In addition, a version of his resistor made possible the precise regulation necessary for the success of the pacemaker, which has helped to save and lengthen the lives of thousands of men and women around the world.  Overall, Otis Boykin had 26 patents in his name.

 

 

TRAILBLAZER

Cheick Camara & Ermias Tadesse

Through research, Tadesse and Camara discovered that Black and Hispanic students make up less than 5% of the demographic in many of Cornell’s highly selective and coveted finance clubs. As a result, they were the only students of color in their respective clubs

The experience left Camara, who originates from Harlem, NY, feeling like “an imposter,” while Tadesse, a native of Alexandria, VA, says he didn’t feel “connected” with his organization. To help usher in more diversity, they created BlackGen Capital, Cornell’s first minority-owned investment fund, in November 2019.

“We wanted to help bridge the gap between these talented Black and Hispanic students who were interested in financial services, but ultimately provide them with the pipeline, the bridge, and the community to help them do so…”

HISTORY MAKER

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown was the inventor of the first home security system. She is also credited with the invention of the first closed circuit television.  The patent for the invention was filed in 1966, and it later influenced modern home security systems that are still used today. Brown’s invention was inspired by the security risk that her home faced in the neighborhood where she lived. She needed to create a system that would allow her to know who was at her home and contact relevant authorities as quickly as possible.

Brown’s security system was the basis for the two-way communication and surveillance features of modern security. Her original invention was comprised of peepholes, a camera, monitors, and a two-way microphone. The final element was an alarm button that could be pressed to contact the police immediately. There was also a voice component to enable Brown to speak to the person outside.

TRAILBLAZER

Nzambi Matee

Nzambi Matee is a Nairobi-based 29-year-old entrepreneur and inventor.  She is the founder of a startup that recycles plastic waste into bricks that are stronger than concrete called Gjenge Makers ltd, her company initiated following the development of a prototype machine that turns discarded plastic into paving stones. one day at the factory means 1,500 churned plastic pavers, prized not just for the quality, but for how affordable they are.

Nzambi Matee majored in material science and worked as an engineer in kenya’s oil industry. in 2017 she quit her job to start creating and testing pavers, which are a combination of plastic and sand. she gets the waste material for free from packaging factories and also buys it from other recyclers. through experimentation, she understood which plastics bind better together and then created the machinery that would allow her to mass produce them.

HISTORY MAKER

Garrett Morgan

On November 20, 1923, the U.S. Patent Office grants Patent No. 1,475,074 to 46-year-old inventor and newspaperman Garrett Morgan for his three-position traffic signal. Though Morgan’s was not the first traffic signal (that one had been installed in London in 1868), it was an important innovation nonetheless: By having a third position besides just “Stop” and “Go,” it regulated crossing vehicles more safely than earlier signals had.

Morgan, the child of two formerly enslaved people, was born in Kentucky in 1877. When he was just 14 years old, he moved north to Ohio to look for a job. First he worked as a handyman in Cincinnati; next he moved to Cleveland, where he worked as a sewing-machine repairman. In 1907, he opened his own repair shop, and in 1909 he added a garment shop to his operation. The business was an enormous success, and by 1920 Morgan had made enough money to start a newspaper, the Cleveland Call, which became one of the most important Black newspapers in the nation.

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Dr. Oluyinka O. Olutoye

Dr. Oluyinka O. Olutoye led a team of medical practitioners to perform surgery on a baby in-utero in a Texas hospital in 2016 and now Oluyinka O. Olutoye, MD, PhD, has been appointed Surgeon-In-Chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the U.S. 

Olutoye co-led a team of 21 doctors that removed a sacrococcygeal teratoma, a large tumor that grows on the tailbone of a fetus, and then returned the 23-week-old fetus to the mother’s womb to world acclaim.  Surgeons then removed as much of the mass as possible before returning the fetus to the womb. The team continued to monitor the mother over the course of her pregnancy to ensure that no further problems occurred until she delivered at 36 weeks.

HISTORY MAKER

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Crumpler was born in 1831 in Delaware, to Absolum Davis and Matilda Webber. An aunt in Pennsylvania, who spent much of her time caring for sick neighbors and may have influenced her career choice, raised her. By 1852 she had moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked as a nurse for the next eight years (because the first formal school for nursing only opened in 1873, she was able to perform such work without any formal training). In 1860, she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College. When she graduated in 1864, Crumpler was the first African American woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree, and the only African American woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College, which closed in 1873.

TRAILBLAZER

Janice Bryant Howroyd

The founder and CEO Act 1 Group, an employment agency and consultancy, is the first African-American woman to operate a company that brings in upwards of $1 billion in annual revenue.
In an interview with CNBC, Howroyd said, “being the first African American woman to achieve anything in 2016 is not an accomplishment. … While I accept that applause with all the gratitude I can muster, the best thing I can be applauded for is simply being a woman building a great business.”

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