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African Americans: Entrepreneurship and Science

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Benjamin Banneker
(1731-1806) helped survey the District of Columbia; used knowledge of astronomy to publish a farmer's almanac; corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and challenged his views on race
Granville T. Woods
(1856-1910) inventor who patented many innovations in transportation and electrical devices including the induction telegraph, air brake, and third rail
George Washington Carver
(1864-1943) professor of agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute for 47 years; perhaps most famous for developing and promoting 100 uses for the peanut; discovered and promoted to poor black farmers crops such as peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes as alternatives to cotton
Matthew Henson
(1866-1955) explorer best known for co-discovering the North Pole with Robert Peary in 1909
Madame C. J. Walker
(1867-1919) considered the first female self-made millionaire; developed and successfully marketed beauty and hair products
Garrett Morgan
(1877-1963) inventor who patented a chemical hair-straightener, a safety breathing mask for firefighters and soldiers, and improvements to sowing machines and traffic lights
Charles Drew
(1904-1950) surgeon who pioneered methods of storing blood plasma for transfusion; organized the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S. for World War II; called for the desegregation of donated blood based on race
Robert L. Johnson
(1946-) first African-American billionaire; founder of Black Entertainment Television; part-owner in the Charlotte Hornets
Benjamin Carson
(1951-) director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital; the first person to separate conjoined twins attached at the head
Mae C. Jemison
(1956-) medical doctor and first female African-American astronaut; flew into space aboard the _Endeavor_ in 1992
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