Townhall: Black Inventors Are Often Overlooked In American History by Ken Blackwell
Each year, Black History Month allows us to reflect on so many great Black Americans who’ve contributed to the success of our nation. We reflect on the contributions of many well-known and not so well-known Black Americans. As we come to the end of another Black History Month, it’s critical that we draw more attention to one group that has not gotten nearly enough attention – the Black inventor.
Thousands of African American inventors have transformed America. Black inventors have created groundbreaking products for centuries ranging from Lewis Lattimer, who helped construct a commercially viable lightbulb, to Marshall Jones, who pioneered laser use in industrial manufacturing.
Many of these innovative geniuses are unknown today, and it is critical to educate the public about the invaluable contributions of Black inventors.
I’ve written a great deal in recent years about America’s role as the innovation leader of the world – largely because we created a system that defined ideas and invention as the intellectual property of those who created them. Our Founding Fathers enshrined patent protections in the Constitution because they valued innovation and believed individuals should be able to reap the fruits of their labor.