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Madame CJ Walker Quote

Black History:  Special Delivery!!



Madame CJ Walker,  a self made millionaire was a pioneering entrepreneur developing hair care products that catered to black women. She was orphaned at the age of 7, widowed with a young child by age 18, and could barely read or write……YET she let none of this stop her.  In achieving success, she also wanted to empower other black women to be successful by creating employment opportunities for them. She shared this quote at at a National Negro Business League Convention:

“I am not merely satisfied in making money for myself.  For I am endeavoring to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race”

-Madame CJ Walker


Madame C. J. Walker Quote

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“I got myself a start by giving myself a start.” 

-Madame C.J. Walker

John B. McClendon, Jr: Creator Of The Fast Break, Zone Press, And 4 Corners Offense

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John B. McClendon, Jr. (1915 – 1999)

 

John B. McLendon, Jr. (1915-1999) was trailblazing African American basketball coach.  He is also recognized as the first African American basketball coach at a predominately white university and the first African American coach of a professional sports team.

McClendon, Jr.’s attended Sumner High School in Kansas City.  While an all around athlete, McClendon, , Jr., did not play basketball while in high school.  He was born in Hiawatha, KS and graduated from University of Kansas with a degree in physical education.  He studied basketball at Kansas and was trained by the creator of the sport, Dr. James Naismith. McClendon Jr. was not allowed to play of the varsity team at the University of Kansas because he was black.  However, he would go on to build an impressive career as a coach winning 8 CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) championships.  McClendon, Jr. also invented several aspects of the game including the fast break, zone press, and four corners offense. Continue reading “John B. McClendon, Jr: Creator Of The Fast Break, Zone Press, And 4 Corners Offense”

Christina Jenkins: Inventor of The “Sew In” Hair Weave

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 Christina Jenkins is credited with inventing the sew in hair weave technique. The process of adding in hair extensions was centuries old.  Jenkins improved on these techniques by creating a process of sewing in hair extensions rather than pinning them to the scalp.  While employed by a wig maker in 1949, Jenkins became aware that customers often complained that their wigs would fall off their heads frequently.  She began to explores ways to rectify this concern.  Jenkins sew in technique was considered revolutionary when it was first introduced.  She obtained a patent in 1951 for the process. Her technique was extremely popular with clients and cosmetologists.  Jenkins traveled the world sharing her technique.  The technique she used was a very lengthy process.

Jenkins opened the “Hairweev Academy” to train licensed cosmetologists. People came from all over the country to be trained in the technique. She offered the cosmetologists that she trained franchising opportunities to use the technique.   However, many students did not fulfil the financial obligations of the franchise agreement.  As a result, Jenkins quickly lost control of her invention and personal finances began to suffer.  She attempted to take legal action against these individuals.  However, Jenkins lacked the finances she needed to do so and was unable to continue running the business.

The sale of hair extensions is currently a billion dollar industry. There are many different hairweaving techniques today.  Her invention was a game changer for the hair industry.  Christina Jenkins died in 2003.

Thank Dr. Clarence Ellis When You Click An Icon On Your Computer!

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Dr. Clarence “Skip” Ellis (1943 – 2014)

Dr. Clarence “Skip” Ellis (1943-2014) earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Illinois. He was the first African American to gain a Ph.D in this area of study.  A dedicated educator, he loved to teach students who were new to the field of study and who lacked experience.  Ellis was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.  Ellis was also instrumental in the development of “groupware” technology. This technology makes it possible for several people to collaborate on a document at the same time.  His work made it possible for programs such as Google Docs and Sharepoint software to be developed.  He is also credited with inventing the technology we now use to click “icons” on a computer screen to execute computer commands.

Continue reading “Thank Dr. Clarence Ellis When You Click An Icon On Your Computer!”

Janet Emerson Bashen: Software Pioneer

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Janet Emerson Bashen received a technology patent in 2006. She is President, Founder, and CEO of Bashen Technologies.  Bashen saw a need to help employers with EEO tracking and reporting to more effectively respond to discrimination complaints filed by employees.  She knew that when discrimination claims were filed against companies, paperwork was often lost and took a long time to process.  She created a web based software platform to help employers track this info and streamline their reporting processes.
Continue reading “Janet Emerson Bashen: Software Pioneer”

Bertin Nahum: Robotic Surgical Equipment Inventor

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Bertin Nahum
Bertin Nahum

Black Mail Fast Facts: Bertin Nahum (1970-) a native of Benin, West Africa is the CEO of Medtech located in France which he founded in 2002. His company specializes in creating robotic surgical equipment to guide surgeons, and biologists during biopsies, implants and surgeries. He is considered to be one of the world’s most revolutionary high tech entrepreneurs.  One of his most notable robotic inventions developed in 2010 is, “ROSA”. ROSA helps surgeons perform brain surgery. The robot is utilized in hospitals around the world. Nahum holds an Engineering Degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (France) and a Master of Science in Robotics from Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Other recent Black Mail Posts:

Miriam Benjamin: Inventor of The Gong Signal Chair

Benjamin Thornton: Inventor of Telephone Message Recording Device:

 

 

Miriam Benjamin: Black Inventor

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MARIAN BENJAMIN PATENT DRAWING
The Gong and Signal Chair – Patent Drawing

Black Mail Fast Fact: Miriam Benjamin created an invention which would improve customer service within the hotel and restaurant industries. Her invention would also help these industries be more efficient with their staffing. Benjamin developed a system for customers to quietly alert staff when they were in need of service. She called her invention, “The Gong and Signal Chair”.  It was first patented in 1888. Using her invention, the customer was able to press a button on the back of their chair which would relay a signal to hotel or restaurant staff. A light on the chair would also illuminate to show staff where the customer was seated. The invention became so popular that a number of them were even installed in the House of Representatives.  Miriam Benjamin was the second black woman to receive a U.S. patent.

Mary Beatrice Davidson Skinner: Household Products Inventor

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mary beatrice real pick

 African American inventor Mary Beatrice Davidson Skinner (1912-2006) came from a family where both her father, grandfather and sister were all inventors. Mary had several inventions including: a sanitary belt, sanitary belt with moisture proof napkin pocket, carrier attachment for adult walkers, bathroom tissue holder, back washer mounted on a shower wall and bathtub. She patented these 5 inventions between 1956-1987. The company that was first interested in her sanitary product invention rejected it when they discovered that she was an African American woman. Skinner was not the original creator of the sanitary napkin.  Women have always found various ways to deal with menstrual periods.  Until more formal/manufactured products were available women often used rags or strips of cloth during their menstrual periods.  Sanitary napkins as a product were originally introduced in 1888 in the United States and earlier forms have been documented as early as the 10th century.  The invention continued to be improved and updated by various manufacturers including Skinner.  In addition to being an inventor, she was a entrepreneur, owning a floral arrangement business.

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