5 African American Inventors You Probably Didn't Know About


This is a spotlight for just a small portion of African American inventors that get overlooked everyday, many of these African American inventors laid the ground for many developments today but have gotten very little recognition for it, that being said here is just 5 of the hundreds of African American inventors that have made impacts in our lives.

Tarana Burke - #MeToo Movement

She started the #MeToo movement, this movement has been ground breaking and has really brought to light sexual assault. By sharing her own story and encouraging other women to share their stories, she has continued to push for a movement that will dismantle rape culture.


George Crum- Potato chips

In 1853, while working as a chef in a restaurant, one day a customer sent back his dish claiming that his fries were too mushy and didn't have enough salt. In frustration with the customer, he cut the potato chips very thinly, fried them, and then put a great amount of salt on them. When the food was sent out he was hoping to teach the customer about complaining but instead the customer loved them and as word spread around, it became the most popular thing on the menu. In 1860, when Crum opened up his own restaurant every table received a bowl of potato chips.

Charles Richard Drew- Blood Bank

In 1938, while he was earning a Doctor of Medical Science Degree at Columbia University, he became interested in  researching the preservation of blood. He discovered a method where he was able to seperate the red blood cells from the plasma and was then able to store the two separately. This allowed blood to be stored for long period, which meant more people being able to get blood transfusions. His work then led to having blood banks.


Lisa Gelobter - GIF

She was originally involved with the development of the Shockwave, this is a type of technology that formed the beginning of web animation. She is the one to thank for all the thousands of GIF’s on the internet. Such as the one below…


Marie Van Brittan Brown - closed-circuit television security

Even though Marie Van Brittan Brown was a full time nurse, she was well aware of the security threats to her home because of this she created a system that would alert her of strangers at her door and contact authorities if and when  needed. Her original invention consisted of peepholes, a camera, monitors, a two way microphone, and an alarm button, when she would press the button it would contact authorities. Thanks to her patent, other developers could use it as ground work to create for modern closed circuit television system.