I would love to know the origin of this story. I followed it back through four people who had each in turn forwarded to others. But then I hit a dead end. If you know who the author is I would appreciate hearing from you. BlackInvStory@InventorEd.org.
Due to many email requests from children looking for information about the people mentioned below, I have now made each name a link to a Google search. This is to help those of you who are doing reports or simply interested in more information.
Ronald J. Riley
It was almost time for Theo's father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus. But there was no bus, because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R Robinson. He usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator: Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator. He also usually dropped off the office mail at a nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the mailbox and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.
Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their head in their hands. When the father arrived he asked, Why are you sitting in the dark? Why? Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament light bulb. Theo quickly learned what it would be like if there were no black people in the world. Not to mention if he were ever sick and needed blood. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world's first blood bank. And what if a family member had to have heart surgery. This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open heart surgery.
So if you ever wonder, like Theo, where would we be without US? Well, it's pretty plain to see. We would still be in the DARK!
Dave, are these references to inventors good? If so who owns right to the story? I would put it up on a web page
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Unterberg" <email@example.com>
To: "Ronald J. Riley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 1999 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Black Inventors
1. The story in question was forwarded to me by my daughter
Jana Frances-Fischer in Atlanta. Her email is <email@example.com>. Maybe
she can tell you the provenance of the story.
2. Of help may be the book "Created Equal - The Lives and Ideas
of Black American Innovators" by James Michael Brodie, Wm. Morrow & Co.,
1350 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10019, ISBN 0-688-11536-5.
Some 60 inventors are profiled, with a short list of many more.
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