While the achievements of such individuals as Barack Obama, Toni Morrison, and Thurgood Marshall are well known, many accomplished African Americans have been largely forgotten or deliberately erased from the historical record in America. This volume introduces students to those African Americans whose successes in entertainment, business, sports, politics, and other fields remain poorly understood. Dr. Charles Drew, whose pioneering research on blood transfusions saved thousands of lives during World War II; Mae Jemison, an engineer who in 1992 became the first African American woman to travel in outer space; and Ethel Waters, the first African American to star in her own television show, are among those chronicled in Forgotten African American Firsts. With nearly 150 entries across 17 categories, this book has been carefully curated to showcase the inspiring stories of African Americans whose hard work, courage, and talent have led the course of history in the United States and around the world.
- Introduces students to the pioneering achievements of African American artists, inventors, leaders, and scholars
- Orients readers to historical, biographical, contextual, and theoretical approaches to understanding and appraising the work African American innovators
- Documents the critical but often unrecognized role that African Americans in every generation have played in transforming American culture
- Models major avenues for investigating, assessing, and writing about African American trailblazers and the significance and continuing influence of their accomplishments