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IssaEl21 IssaEl21 is offline
Grand Esteem Family Elder
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,144
IssaEl21 is a jewel in the roughIssaEl21 is a jewel in the roughIssaEl21 is a jewel in the rough
Smile WeDidIt[1].TheyHidItAfrican American history

We Did It — They Hid It
In order to raise the consciousness of our African brothers and sisters, we must understand and apply the Akan concept of Sankofa, which means that in order to move forward we first have to take a step back. In other words, before we can be prepared for the future, we must comprehend the past. Therefore, here is a partial list of just some of the thousands of past (and present) inventions, patents, improvements, discoveries, creations, and innovations by and pertaining to Africans in America and in Africa.

But before we begin, we should understand certain key terms, such as “invention” and “patent.” An invention is a process, design, or product — including a substantive improvement thereof — that is not previously known or not previously existing by the exercise of independent investigation and experiment. A patent is a grant given by the federal government for such a process, design, or product — including a substantive improvement thereof — with that grant providing the exclusive right to make and sell the process, design, or product — including a substantive improvement thereof — for a term of years. Accordingly, patent holders (as are many of the Africans listed below) can legally be defined as actual “inventors.”

It must be mentioned that although our ancestors have received credit for various inventions and patent ideas in America, we must realize that in many, if not most, cases, inventions and patent ideas were systematically stolen from us by those who enslaved and otherwise oppressed us from the 17th to mid-20th centuries and thereabouts. In fact, there were laws during a significant part of that period that barred our ancestors from filing lawsuits or testifying in court when they wanted to prove that their inventions and patent ideas had been stolen by whites.

This partial list was compiled to begin re-igniting a sense of ability and excellence in the minds of Africans as well as to dispel self-hating myths that have caused many of us to believe that white people’s water is wetter than Black people’s water. And now, without further ado, here is our “We Did It-They Hid It” list with dates, patent numbers, and some commentary. Be proud about it and be loud about it; now that you have heard, you must spread the word!
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