How I Use Black History Daily

As busy college students, we are perpetually stuck in what I like to call “What’s Next Syndrome.” For those of you who need a little bit more of an explanation, here it is: “What’s Next Syndrome” is when we don’t think about anything but what’s happening next in our lives. This can be short or long term. But whether it lasts a day or several months, we have to remember that always being on the go can make us forget about the things that we should be grateful for. Black History Month comes around once every year. We take the time to remember our ancestors that have made a huge impact on the world that we live in today. But do we ever just sit and think about the little things we do everyday that wouldn’t be possible without them? The honest answer to that question is… rarely ever (if at all) because we’re always thinking about what’s next (I’m guilty too, so don’t feel attacked).


That is why I’m taking the time to sit and think about it now. Here are just a few of the inventions from African Americans that I use from the moment I wake up in the morning to the second I jump into the bed.


Hair Care Products for Black Women 

Now we all know about our girl Madam C.J. Walker. Where would our natural hair beauties be without her? She is known for developing AND marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products specifically for black hair. Walker was “eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in the US, but her estate was only worth an estimated $600,000 upon her death.” Regardless, sis was a boss and she is much appreciated! 

Light Bulb

In order to see our beautiful curls, we have to give props to Lewis Latimer. We all know Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb, but Latimer made it so much better. Latimer created a long-lasting light bulb with a carbon filament. A little dash of our black magic changed the indoor lighting game.  


Color IBM PC Monitor 

Mark MF Dean. If it wasn’t for him, we would still be looking at a black and white screen on our computers. In the early 1980’s, Dean put together a team of 12 people who created the first IBM PC. Later in his IBM career he worked diligently to develop the first colored screen. THANK YOU SIR!


Foil Electret Microphone 

Talking on the phone was made possible by James E. West. West co-invented the foil electret microphone in 1964. This microphone is used in our cameras, baby monitors, hearing aids, and phones today. He was tasked with creating a microphone that would be cheaper to produce and more condensed. Which he did. A BLACK man. 


These are just a few of the African American inventions used on a daily basis that we probably never think about. Don’t get so caught up in “What’s Next Syndrome” that you fail to realize this: the creations of our ancestors allow us to be the successful and busy college students that we are. This black history month, slow down and be appreciative. 


How much would we get done on a day to day basis without the inventions of black people? Think about it!