» » Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson
eBook Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson download
Author: Rayvon Fouche
ISBN: 0801873193
Subcategory: Americas
Pages 225 pages
Publisher The Johns Hopkins University Press (September 10, 2003)
Language English
Category: History
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 706
ePUB size: 1578 kb
FB2 size: 1213 kb
DJVU size: 1530 kb
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eBook Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson download

by Rayvon Fouche

According to the stereotype, late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century inventors, quintessential loners and supposed geniuses, worked in splendid isolation and then unveiled their discoveries to a marveling world. Most successful inventors of this era, however, developed their ideas within the framework of industrial organizations that supported them and their experiments. For African American inventors, negotiating these racially stratified professional environments meant not only working on innovative designs but also breaking barriers.

In this pathbreaking study, Rayvon Fouché examines the life and work of three African Americans: Granville Woods (1856--1910), an independent inventor; Lewis Latimer (1848--1928), a corporate engineer with General Electric; and Shelby Davidson (1868--1930), who worked in the U.S. Treasury Department. Detailing the difficulties and human frailties that make their achievements all the more impressive, Fouché explains how each man used invention for financial gain, as a claim on entering adversarial environments, and as a means to technical stature in a Jim Crow institutional setting.

Describing how Woods, Latimer, and Davidson struggled to balance their complicated racial identities -- as both black and white communities perceived them -- with their hopes of being judged solely on the content of their inventive work, Fouché provides a nuanced view of African American contributions to -- and relationships with -- technology during a period of rapid industrialization and mounting national attention to the inequities of a separate-but-equal social order.

I must say this is an excellent book that reflects, as others have mentioned, an evident commitment to the necessary level of research to present the facts of the three individuals covered. It is a rare opportunity to grab a non-fiction read that is engaging from the start. He brings to life these gentlemen in a manner others have not, and would not. He reflects them as individuals facing the day to day challenges of the times they lived, not so unlike our own personal challenges today. In short, he makes them REAL.

I completely appreciate the time Fouche spent on reviewing/comparing the historical notes to clarify for the readers what is, and most is not, the truth. Too many prepare historical literature on Blacks in America without pausing to clean up what is so obviously contradictory. In my own research of various persons, it has been amazing to see how many key elements will flip-flop, enough to make you scream.

Overall, if you are not a mature and perhaps open-minded individual, you may not care too much for the details presented here. However, I can say with certainty you are missing out on some truly delicious information about these inventors. This is not a book for the little kids seeking an "all is perfect in the garden" perspective on these highly relevant men.

Again, a joy to have read. I am very pleased I grabbed this one to include in my collection of books here at home.
The author provides an interesting perspective on the subject.
It's really challenges some of the other works I've read in the

The reader gets a sneak peek into the private lives
and struggles of black inventors, in terms of culture, self identity,
and the limitation/hardships due to lack of funding.

I'd love to know if a similar work is being prepared for present day
black inventors... wonder if there are many parallels..
Beautiful read! Captivated my attention from the very start! I have not finished reading yet, but this is an enthralling display of the truth from an Afrakan man!
Things that every American needs to know, know The truth and The truth will make you free, in your mind.
Professor Fouche has written a fabulous book! Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation is clearly the most thoroughly researched book on black inventors to date. He provides a detailed account of how difficult it was for black inventors to succeed in a segregated society. His book describes the experiences of three black inventors and explains their importance to African American people in the twentieth century. This is a must read for anyone wanting to know more about black inventors, their inventions, and their lives, as well as those interested in African American history and the history of invention.