Last Week: NIH Celebrates #BHM2016, Part 1
This year we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans in a variety of fields. This small selection of profiles highlights accomplishments from significant inventions, medical discoveries, and glass ceilings that were broken for many contributors to come through the 20th and 21st centuries. We hope you enjoy the series of profiles over the course of Black History Month 2016.
Frederick McKinley Jones (May 17, 1893 – February 21, 1961) was an African-American inventor, entrepreneur, winner of the National Medal of Technology, and inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His innovations in refrigeration brought great improvement to the long-haul transportation of food. Around 1935, Jones designed a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying perishable goods. Portable cooling units designed by Jones were especially important during World War II, preserving blood, medicine, and food for use at army hospitals and on open battlefields. Read more.
Septima Poinsette Clark (May 3, 1898–December 15, 1987) was an American educator and civil rights activist. Clark developed the literacy and citizenship workshops that played an important role in the drive for voting rights and civil rights for African Americans in the American Civil Rights Movement. Septima Clark's work was commonly under appreciated by Southern male activists. She became known as the "Queen mother" or "Grandmother" of the American Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. commonly referred to Clark as "The Mother of the Movement”. Clark's argument for her position in the Civil Rights Movement was one that claimed "knowledge could empower marginalized groups in ways that formal legal equality couldn't.” Read more.
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American poet and teacher. She was the first black person (the term she preferred over African-American) to win a Pulitzer prize when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for her second collection, Annie Allen. Throughout her career she received many more honors. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, a position held until her death and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985. Read more.
Coming Next Week – NIH Celebrates #BHM2016, Part 3