Did You Know?

    – Excerpt from Servants of Allah by Sylviane A. Diouf Black Inventors Zimbio – Life Without Black People: Black Inventors Madam C. J. Walker – Biography


    Most of the Africans forced to come to America were of noble ancestry.  They came from kings and queens. Many were Muslims – noted scholars having full knowledge of Holy Quran (Hafiz) and the Sunnah (ways and sayings of the Holy Last Messenger) peace and blessings be upon him.  They upheld the five pillars of Islam in a hostile environment.  *A large proportion  of the Muslims arrived in the New World already literate, reading and writing Arabic and their own languages transcribed in the Arabic alphabet.  As other Africans came from exclusively  oral cultures, and as learning to read and write was either illegal or actively discouraged for all slaves in the Americas, literacy became one of the most distinguishing marks of the Muslims.* Contemplating these facts and those to come after,  is it any wonder, that these realities give credence to the saying “America is our country, Islam is our way of life, and freedom is our right?”

    The following list are inventions by people of African descent and the possible scenario without them.

    There are very few crops that have would have flourished, because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

    There would be no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Miles, a man of African descent, patented an electric elevator, and without his knowledge, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.

    There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a man of African descent, invented the automatic gearshift and in 1932 licensed the patent for $100,000 and he also has a long list of very notable inventions worth mentioning. Joseph Gambol, also of brown color, invented the supercharger system for internal combustion engines and Garrett A. Morgan invented  traffic signals.

    Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another man , Albert R. Robinson, yes – of African descent.

    Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they would be cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

    There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Love invented the advanced printing press. They were all – you guessed it – of African descent.

    Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine, William Purveys invented the handstamp and Philip Downing invented the letter drop.

    The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the lawn mower.

    When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the air conditioner and Alice Parker the heating furnace.


    Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer later invented the electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the automatic cut off switch.

    Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the household mop and Lloyd P. Ray the dust pan.

    Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect?

    Jan E. Matzelinger invented the shoe lacing machine, Walter Sammons invented the comb, Sarah  Boone invented the ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the clothes dryer.

    Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another man of color, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

    Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Negros (colored people), as African-Americans? Sarah Breedlove known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self made millionaire in America. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for women of African descent under the company she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks." African American history includes more than just slavery – Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois, and President Barack H. Obama, first person of African descent and Ahl i Bayt (descendant of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad – peace and blessing be upon him) to be president of United States of America.   

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