Black history month – October 2013

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October is the month we celebrate the contribution black people have made to British society.

Yvonne Coghill Senior Programme Lead for InclusionIt’s Black History Month (BHM). To be honest I find it fascinating that we allocate a specific month in the year to celebrate those achievements, the inference being that perhaps for the rest of the year we don’t need to remember the very special contributions made by these people. However, so as not to appear like an old misery guts, I’ll join in the celebrations and will commence with the story below. Over the coming month I will be writing about my people – black people – their lives and some more of their achievements.

Some of you will have read this story before, a lot of you won’t have, it is an uplifting and heartening story. Enjoy.

A World without Black People – Author unknown

This is a story of a little boy name Theo, who woke up one morning and asked his mother,

“Mum, what if there were no Black people in the world?”

Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said,

“Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world.”

“Now go get dressed, and we will get started.”

Theo ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said,

“Theo, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them.”

However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there, because;

Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board,

and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine, a machine that could make shoes automatically.

“Oh well,” she said, “please go and do something to your hair.”

Theo ran in his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there because;

Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Theo decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone;

because; Lydia O. Newman, a black woman, invented the brush.

Well, he was a sight: no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mum’s hair, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. Walker was a mess.

Mom told Theo, “Let’s do our jobs around the house and then take a trip to the supermarket.”

Theo’s job was to sweep the floor. He swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there, because;

Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan.

So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone because;

Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop.

Theo yelled to his Mum, “Mum, I’m not having any luck.”

She replied, “Well, son, let me finish washing these clothes, and we’ll make a list for the grocery store.”

When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there

because; George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mum asked Theo to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the supermarket. So, Theo ran for the paper and pencil but he noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because

John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mum reached for a pen, but it was not there

because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.

As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press.

Theo and his mother decided just to head out to the supermarket.

Well, when Theo opened the door, he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall.

because; John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower.

They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t go.

because; Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gears, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines.

They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals.

You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their shopping, and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs, and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone.

You see John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator.

So, they just left the food on the table.

By this time, Theo noticed he was getting very cold. Mum went to turn up the heat, and what do you know?

Alice Parker, a black woman, invented the heating boiler.

Even in the summertime, they would have been out of luck because

Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

It was almost time for Theo’s father to arrive home. He usually took the bus, but there were no buses,

because the electric trolley which came before buses was invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

His father usually took the lift from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator

because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator.

He also usually dropped off the office mail at a near by postbox, but it was no longer there

because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop post box, and William Barry invented the postmarking and cancelling machine.

Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked,

“Why are you sitting in the dark?” Why?

Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Theo quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood.

because; Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery?

This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery.

So, if you ever wonder, like Theo, where would we be without black people? Well, it’s pretty plain to see. We would look pretty messy have nothing to write with, we’d all be walking, tall buildings would take forever to get to the top off, there would be no post and we’d still be in the DARK!

In a world without black people there would be no…

Ironing boards, Machine made shoes, Combs, Brushes, Hair care products, Dustpans

Mops, Tumble driers, Pencil sharpeners, Fountain pens, Typewriter, Advanced printing press, Lawn mowers, Cars with automatic gears, Car engines, Traffic lights

Refrigerators, Heating boilers, Air conditioners, Buses, Lifts, Post boxes

Post marking machines, Light bulbs, Blood transfusions, Heart surgery

Black Inventors

Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board,

Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine, a machine that could make shoes automatically.

Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Lydia O. Newman, a black woman, invented the brush Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan. Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop.

George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer. John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.

As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press.

John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower. Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gears, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines. Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light. John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator

Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

The electric trolley which came before buses was invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator. 

Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop post box, and William Barry invented the postmarking and cancelling machine.

Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world’s first blood bank.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery.

4 thoughts on “Black history month – October 2013

  1. Wow i never knew black people invented every day stuff. I probably wouldnt even survive without some of these things

  2. Hi all,
    Thanks for given me planety of information about black inventors,
    But you have forgotten about the black woman who invented the long range field artillery weapon and the rifle made by Richard spikes .
    Cheers