Making It Happen: Masters of Invention

Though most people can identify inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, they may never have heard of Lewis Latimer or Granville T. Woods, Edison’s and Bell’s equally brilliant African-American competitors. Actor Glynn Turman introduces black men and women whose inventions have contributed to society from the time of slavery to today. Here are Benjamin Banneker, the multi-talented inventor, author and philosopher of the 1700’s, and Norbert Rilleaux, inventor of a sugar refining process still used today, a man so constrained by race laws that he left the US forever. The program also recognizes Dr. George Washington Carver, known as the “Savior of the South,” Garrett Morgan, inventor of the traffic signal, Dr. Patricia Bath, inventor of the laserphaco probe and a modern spokeswoman for African-American achievement, and many more. Take a fascinating look at history as seen and made by African-Americans whose contributions have been ignored for far too long. More info visit:

25 Responses to “Making It Happen: Masters of Invention”

  1. xVengeancexGalx says:

    I’m white and it’s extremely sad that all these idiots are feeling insecure that the once thought “white” inventions are now turning out to be invented by black people. Get over it. For example, Thomas Edison stole most of his ideas from other people (lightbulb was Canadian, don’t believe me research it.). There’s no doubt that some of the “great american inventors” back then stole the ideas from their black assistants and such and claimed them as their own. I’m glad that ideology is changing.

  2. ignitionrod says:

    since the dislikes come from whites,I think they should be watching white inventions instead of black ones

  3. mumbleora says:

    @Reijerkolle blacks did build the pyramids though, and Dr. George Washington Carver made it possible for the agricultural south to compete with the industrial;ized north singlehandedly. and his inventions?Wheeew!!
    ..Ask Henry Ford.

  4. mumbleora says:

    @Reijerkolle did build the pyramids though.

  5. mumbleora says:

    @Reijerkolle “Whites” didn’t invent it. One person did. What did you invent?

  6. moojeed says:

    Attention Conservatives: Google “Counsel of Conservative Citizens” for up to date info on unreported race riots, Obama and his Progressive cohorts, Black history mythology, race hustlers and other provocative issues that you will never hear about on the news.

  7. Crayolakid1 says:

    @adinovo what have you invented?

  8. A86 says:

    The satellite was partially built by some Nigerian engineers in the Chinese contractor. It was handled in orbit by a Nigerian company:

    (dot) cgwic (dot) com / In – OrbitDelivery / CommunicationsSatellite / Program / NigComSat – 1 (dot) html

    The same Nigerian company will be handling orbital functions of the next satellite and there will be Nigerian subcontractors involved with the construction of the next and there will be a public-private joint relationship with the Nigerian government.

  9. moojeed says:

    This was some eye-opening information. Now if you want to learn about more recent Black Inventions go to niggermania and learn about the simple but effective method that Africans invented for avoiding A.I.D.S. The site also has a video that depicts an African invented method of preparing cows for breeding. That video will prevent White farmers and scientists from stealing the credit for this amazing breakthrough in animal husbandry science.

  10. moojeed says:

    Yes, it is true, Nigeria has a space program, but none of the science that went into sending the satellites up came from Nigeria, none of the equipment was built their and none of the launching staff were Nigerian. They are now working with an American company called Geo Eye who may be able to supply them with everything they need to make their system function. Not really a lot of African involvement.

  11. A86 says:

    “and what do the Africans do…now?”

    Well, off the top of my head I know that Nigeria has a space program (I shit you not). It’s called NASDRA. They’ve put up 2 functioning satellites so far.

  12. A86 says:

    I seriously doubt it. They don’t list minor black inventors as “significant”. The Carbon production process for the lightbulb back then was a major invention for the filament because it made it possible for the lightbulb to be mass produce-able. Any invention that allows something to be mass produced is pretty significant. Otherwise the lightbulb would have been a novel but non-conventional invention.

  13. Ultranothing says:

    The Smithsonian lists his contribution to the lightbulb as “significant” in an attempt to be politically-correct.

  14. A86 says:

    I think we’re evolving slowly. While race relations got off to a terrible start I think most people are evolving slowly. Things are better now than they were 40 years ago, let alone 100 years ago.

  15. Ultranothing says:

    So, are we “e”volving, or “de”volving?

  16. A86 says:

    Lol, yeah, I didn’t realize that my comment was kind of silly because he isn’t around to ask. I meant to say “read up on de Gama’s writings”.

    Hey, no prob with the conversation. 😉 I’m kind of a history nerd. What’s interesting about the history of early encounters between Europeans and Africans is that you find little if any of the malice and racism that later formed between the two groups. Early accounts often seem pretty benign. Like de Gama’s friendly encounters in Mombasa.

  17. Ultranothing says:

    I asked Vasco De Gama earlier today, he says we’re both crazy 🙂

    Anyway, good debate. I learned alot 😀 Did alot of googling these past few days. Thanks!

  18. A86 says:

    Even the Smithsonian National Museum of American History lists his contributions to the lightbulb as significant:

    americanhistory (dot) si (dot) edu/ exhibitions / small _ exhibition (dot) cfm ? key = 1267 & exkey = 143 & pagekey = 227

    Are they mistaken too?

  19. A86 says:

    You base this on what? Not only is the manufacturing process and improved filament significant (we used it for several decades) he received a patent for it. Did we use Swan’s version of the filament? No. Did we use Latimer’s? Yes.

    The comparison is apt because Bleriot did not invent the airplane but he made a better version. While the Wright Brothers invented the airplane few people every used their version. Who do you think about more? Bill Gates or the guys who invented the computer?

  20. A86 says:

    Well, they have many of the world’s fastest industrializing and most rapidly growing economies. Nigeria actually has a space program now (no fooling). South Africa has a rapidly growing middle class.

  21. Ultranothing says:

    You’re comparing Latimer to Blériot? Are you dense?

    What I’m saying – What you don’t want to hear, is that Latimer’s contributions don’t merit the praise and attention from the black community as the black community offers him. They also have a distorted view of the facts, which people like you attempt to “fix” by rehashing the argument. Rehashing the argument doesn’t make the “Process for manufacturing Carbon Filament” any more earth-shattering.

  22. Ultranothing says:

    And what do the Africans do…now?

  23. A86 says:

    Your statement about Africans being naked and having no law is completely untrue. Even the 16th and 17th century European explorers will attest otherwise. Just ask Vasco de Gama who was aided in his travels by Swahili sailors.

  24. A86 says:

    I know, but we used Latimer’s version for much longer than we did Swan’s. So how is that “mild”? That’s like saying Louis Blériot’s contribution to flight is “mild” because he didn’t invent the powered airplane itself.

  25. Ultranothing says:

    We don’t use carbon filaments in light-bulbs, and we haven’t since 1913, when William Coolidge, working with GE, devised a practical way to produce tungsten filaments.

    The ultimate point here, is that the mild contribution of Latimer have been grossly exaggerated by the African-American community as something revolutionary, to be celebrated as an amazing milestone for black people. You should feel insulted!

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