Edward Alexander Bouchet (1852-1918)

 Edward Bouchet was the first African American to graduate (1874) from Yale College.  He was born in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1876, upon receiving his Ph.D. in physics from Yale, he became the first African American to earn a doctorate. Bouchet spent his career teaching college chemistry and physics. Well, I would have treasured learning physics in his class.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (1856-1931)

Dr. Williams was born in Pennsylvania and attended medical school in Chicago, where he received his M.D. in 1883. He founded the Provident Hospital in Chicago in 1891, and he performed the first ever successful open heart surgery in 1893.  Another fun fact you ask? Williams was an apprentice for a shoe maker and later became a Barber all before he pursued his education.

George Washington Carver (1865-1943)


George Carver was born into slavery in Missouri. He incredibly went on to earned degrees from Iowa Agricultural College. Carver directed and facilitated agricultural research at the Tuskegee Institute from 1896 until his death in 1943. Wow, I really admire his passion; coming from being a slave to developing hundreds of applications for farm products like the peanut, sweet potato, soybean, and pecan. Other products that stem from his crop included dyes, plastics, and gasoline; products that we are now exhausting and using poorly. And because of the disregard of usage of these products our world is suffering harshly. Well, next up is….

Percy L. Julian (1899-1975)

Born in Alabama, Julian held a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. His well-known achievement is his synthesis of cortisone, which is used to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. As I got to know his story I was heart broken by the amount of racism and ignorance this man faced. He also created physostigmine from the calabar bean that assisted in the creation of a drug treatment for glaucoma, but still got turn down from permanent employment by DePauw University.

Emmet Chappelle (1925-)

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Chappelle earned a B.S. from the University of California and an M.S. from the University of Washington. He collaborated with NASA in 1977 as a remote sensing scientist. In the midst of Chappelle’s many discoveries is a technique (developed with Grace Picciolo) of immediately detecting bacteria in water, which led to the enhanced diagnoses of urinary tract infections.

Philip Emeagwali (b. 1954)

Philip Emeagwali born in Nigeria in 1954 was determined to succeed. He developed out of a life of poverty and little formal education. A specialist in mathematics, physics, and astronomy, Emeagwali won the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers’ Gordon Bell Prize in 1989 for an experiment that used 65,000 processors to perform the world’s fastest computation of 3.1 billion calculations per second. He is known to many as the ‘father of the internet’. Emeagwali’s computers are presently being used to forecast the weather and predict future global warming. Wow, this blows my mind. Did you know that?

If you have any Black Scientist that you would like to add to the list, feel free to write a comment.

5 thoughts on “bacteria in water, open heart surgery & the father of the internet.

  1. Haha, well thank you for checking out my post. I actually spent this whole morning making sure everything checked out. I didn’t go to school for writing so I’m definitely open to some constructive criticism 🙂

  2. While the control-freak, fact-checking former journalist in me wanted to research all contained in your post before liking it, I didn’t. Instead, I just want to celebrate all of the cool discoveries and people you highlighted here. I enjoyed reading about them!

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