In honor of our great Nation’s rich history we are taking a moment to recognize African American History Month.
Here are some notable African American people that have contributed much to improve our daily lives:
Lisa Jackson – Our Nation’s 1st African American director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2009-2013). During her time at the EPA, Lisa Jackson made tremendous strides to reduce vehicle and power plant emissions and helped to defend clean air and water.
Dr. Robert Bullard – Currently a dean at Texas Southern University, Dr. Bullard has been credited as the ‘father of environmental justice’. He has dedicated his career to seeking protections for low-income and minority populations against environmental practices that disproportionately harm them. Dr. Bullard organized the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 where the first principles of environmental justice were created.
Otis Boykin (1920-1982) – Otis Boykin worked in electronics and took a special interest in resistors. A resistor is a device that slows the flow of electricity to a device to a safe amount. Boykin improved upon this technology and later patented the wire precision resistor which allowed specific amounts of electrical currents to flow for specific purposes. He later invented a resistor that would withstand shifts in temperature and air pressure. These were significant breakthroughs allowing for electrics to be made more cheaply and more reliably than ever before. Boykin’s resisters were used in televisions, IBM computers and even military missiles!
Lewis H. Latimer – Born on September 4, 1848, Lewis H. Latimer was a talented engineer, draftsman and prolific inventor. Recognizing his talent, Alexander Graham Bell hired him to draft the drawings necessary for Bell’s patent application for the telephone. During his time working for the United States Electric Lighting Company, Latimer found a way to make Edison’s lightbulb, invented 1 year earlier, more economical and energy efficient by improving the filament.