From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10-This companion to Sullivan's African American Inventors (Wiley, 1998) profiles 26 women, beginning with Ellen F. Eglin, who was born in 1849 and invented a clothes-wringer, and concluding with Chavonda J. Jacobs Young, who was born in 1967 and has been a research scientist and professor. There is some crossover between the two titles. The introduction discusses the lack of information on the contributions of African-American women and the historical reasons for it. Each brief biography describes the subject's background and achievements, and, in some cases, the obstacles that she had to overcome. Coverage ranges from well-known individuals, such as Madame C. J. Walker, to the lesser known, such as Miriam E. Benjamin, who patented a gong-and-signal chair that was used in the U.S. House of Representatives. When available, black-and-white pictures have been included, as well as photographs and or drawings of certain inventions. This much-needed book is a fine supplement to units on inventors and inventions, and would be useful in multicultural studies.
Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
This latest gem in the Black Stars Series brings African American women of science and invention to life. Countless African American women have made important contributions to science that impact the way we live, work, and think today. Too often their accomplishments have gone unrecorded. African American Women Scientists and Inventors introduces you to some of these outstanding women and their achievements.
Here are lively profiles of both unsung and legendary heroines spanning three hundred years of American history. For example, find out how:
Madame C. J. Walker emerged from a heritage of slavery to develop the "Walker System" of hair care that allowed her to employ thousands, fund foundations and scholarships to help young African Americans—and become the first woman millionaire.
Bessie Blount Griffin, a physical therapist, invented a device to help the disabled feed themselves.
Angela D. Ferguson, M.D., discovered a way to detect sickle cell anemia in newborns.
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics, became a leader in her field. She was the first African American to become president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, where she teaches today.
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