Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Another Book post: Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation


The other thing I've been reading recently is Rayvon Fouche's Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation. It takes a look at the lives of three turn of the century Black American inventors, Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer and Shelby H. Davidson.

The greatest thing about this book is its scope and the depth of research that obviously went into writing it. Fouche isn't happy with just rattling off a list of inventions and the circumstances under which they occurred. Instead there is a detailed look at the circumstances surrounding the life of each inventor. This ends up involving the most detailed historical account of turn of the century upper class, educated Black America that I have ever come across. He also goes into great detail about the personal politics of each inventor and their engagement, or lack thereof, in the civil rights movement. Its interesting how little has changed philosophically a century later. In the end, we get a living, breathing image of these men and the world in which they lived that is absolutely fascinating. For anyone with an interest in history its a great read.

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