Kareem Abdul Jabbar talks about his new book and the exlusion of Black Inventors from the history books and the classrooms of America.
Update, February 2012
I had a friend of mine sent me this excellent piece of prose about Black History for me to share:
LIFE WITHOUT BLACK PEOPLE
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a
group of white people who were fed up with African-
Americans, so they joined together and wished
them away. They passed through a deep dark
tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where
there is an America without black people.
At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief.
At last, they said, no more crime, drugs, violence and
welfare. All of the blacks have gone!
Then suddenly, reality set in. The "NEW AMERICA" is
Not America at all--only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished
Because the nation was built on a slave-supported
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because
Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator,
And without it, one finds great difficulty reaching
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a
Black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph
Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System
for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A.
Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit
system because its predecessor was the electric
which was invented by another black man, Albert R.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a
rapid transit system could operate, they were
cluttered with paper because an African American,
Charles Brooks invented the street sweeper.
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and
books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener,
William Purveys invented the fountain pen and Lee
Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A.
Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were
all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters,
articles and books, they would not have been
transported by mail because William Barry invented the
Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys
invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented
the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph
Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to
be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see,
Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice
Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim.
But of course, Lewis Later invented the Electric Lamp,
Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T.
Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their
homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward
invented the Mop & Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door--barefooted,
Shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect?
Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine,
Walter Sammons Invented the Comb, Sarah Boone
invented the Ironing Board and George T. Samon
invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have
dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the
food had spoiled because another Black man, John
Standard invented the refrigerator.
Now, isn't that something? What would this country be
like without the contributions of Blacks, as
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "By the time we leave
for work, Americans have depended on the inventions
from the minds of Blacks."
Black history includes more than just slavery,
Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm
X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.
What do you think..........