55+ Black History Facts For Kids

February is Black History month! It is a time designated to celebrate the contributions of black people to this world. Black History Month was founded by Carter G. Woodson, who was a historian, author, and journalist.

I try to expose my son to black history year round so he will be knowledgable about the accomplishments of people that look like him.

I wanted to share this knowledge with others. In many ways our lives are better because of the people listed below. This list recognizes a small number of noted Black people as there are many. Find out who invented the potato chip, golf tee, three-way traffic signal, and mailbox. I encourage you to do your own research and expand your child’s knowledge of the rich history.

Learn how my three-year-old son has the ability to read on a 3rd grade level. Go to the bottom of this post to access the First Chapter of the ebook, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play: A Detailed Account with over 130 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources for FREE!

Let’s Get Started!

  1. Mansa Musa is the richest person in history with a net worth of $400 Billion.
  2. George Crum was a chef that invented the potato chip in 1853.
  3. Sarah Boone invented the first portable modern day ironing board.
  4. Lonnie G. Johnson is an Aerospace Engineer that invented the famous Super Soaker Water Gun.
  5. Philip Downing designed the first mailbox. He created a metal box with four legs, which he called the letter box. It was a predecessor to the mailbox.
  6. Charles Drew was a surgeon that developed a way to process and store blood plasma in “blood banks” that saved people’s lives. His blood bank was adopted by the Red Cross.
  7. Jacqueline Davidson (my college roommate) is an attorney who became one of the highest ranking women in the NFL when she was named as the Chief Negotiator for the New York Jets Professional Football Team.
  8. Sarah Goode invented a folding cabinet bed that could go against the wall into a cabinet or a desk with compartments for stationary and writing supplies. She became the first African American woman to receive a United States patent.
  9. Benjamin Banneker made the first clock, authored a series of almanacs, and helped design Washington DC.
  10. Lewis Latimer worked for Thomas Edison when he invented the light bulb. Latimer invented the carbon filament that made the light bulb brighter and last longer.
  11. Jan Matzeliger invented a shoe machine that would automatically sew the upper shoes and sole together. This created a large industry of shoe companies.
  12. Percy Julian was a chemist that made physostigmine readily available for the treatment of glaucoma (an eye disorder that can lead to blindness). He received over 130 chemical patients, and was the first African American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.
  13. Bessie Coleman was the first woman to hold a pilot license. She was denied entry in flying schools in the United States. She taught herself French and moved to France to earn her pilot license.
  14. Alexander Miles was awarded a patent for an automatically opening and closing elevator door. He invented a mechanism that triggered the shaft doors to open and close along with the elevator door, making the ride safer.
  15. Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire.
  16. W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate. He was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
  17. Meredith Gourdine invented the Incineraid system which prevented smoke from burning buildings and kept fog away from airport runways. He also invented the Focus Flow Heat Sink which is a device that kept computer chips cool.
  18. Alfred L. Cralle developed the idea of the ice cream scooper in 1897. He was a successful Pittsburgh business promoter as well.
  19. John Henry Thompson invented the computer language Lingo, which is used in many video games, animations, web design applications, and graphics programs.
  20. George Alcorn invented an imaging spectrometer which is a device that helps scientists identify what materials are made of. He also created 20 other inventions while working for NASA and IBM.
  21. Robert Smalls was a slave who escaped to freedom in a Confederate supply ship and eventually became a sea captain for the Union Navy. After the war, he became a successful businessman and politician serving in both houses of the South Carolina legislature.
  22. Granville Woods invented a transmitter that improved hearing over greater distances for the telephone.
  23. Daniel Hale Williams was one of the first physicians to perform open-heart surgery in the United States and founded a hospital with an interracial staff.
  24. Elijah McCoy was an inventor and engineer who is known for his 57 U.S. patents. He invented a way to lubricate steam engines without shutting them down, which saved a great amount of time and effort in transportation and in industrial production.
  25. Shirley Chisholm is the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.
  26. Garrett A. Morgan invented and patented the first chemical hair straightener, received a patent for the first gas mask, and invented the three-way traffic signal.
  27. George Washington Carver invented many uses for the peanut, sweet potato, pecans and soybeans. He made rubber, adhesives, dyes, pigments, and other products.
  28. Frederick McKinley Jones invented portable cooling units for trucks, trains, ships, and aircraft so products would stay cool when stored.
  29. James E. West invented a microphone that was smaller, lighter, and less expensive while working at Bell Laboratories in 1962.
  30. Nobert Rillieux invented a machine that used steam to evaporate water and keep sugar from burning and being discolored when it is produced. This machine is used today to make soap, glue, milk and other products.
  31. Dr. Patricia Bath is an ophthalmologist that invented a safer and more comfortable procedure for cataract surgery. Her Laserphco Phobe uses an optical laser to vaporize the cataract in a person’s eye.
  32. Dr. Mark Dean is a math genius who invented the 1-Gigahertz chip which made computers faster than ever.
  33. Otis Boykin created a wire resistor that allowed a certain amount of electricity flow to a component. This resistor was used in household appliances, computers, and pacemakers.
  34. Maria Van Brittan Brown and her partner, Albert Brown, invented a closed-circuit television security system that spearheaded modern security systems.
  35. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was the first person to perform an open heart surgery.
  36. Benjamin Bradley invented a powerful steam engine at the age of 16 that helped warships travel faster at sea. He sold the idea in exchange for his freedom.
  37. Lloyd Hall invented several ways to preserve and sterilize food so it would not spoil when it is processed, packed and transported. He used heat, chemicals, and gas to eliminate the germs and bacteria in meat and other foods.
  38. Charles Brooks invented the first self-propelled street sweeper truck, which cleans the street.
  39. Dr. Mae Jemison is the first African American female to become an astronaut. She is an engineer and doctor.
  40. Dr. Ben Carson performed the first successful separation of Siamese twins who were joined at the back of the head.
  41. Henrietta Bradberry invented a new way for torpedoes to be discharged from submarines and subterranean forts.
  42. Andrew Beard invented the automatic car coupler which revolutionized railroad safety.
  43. Phillis Wheatley was a poet and master of the English Language. She write a poem in honor of George Washington and he praised her work.
  44. Richard Allen founded one of the first African -American Christian Churches. The first church was called the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).
  45. John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish founded the first black newspaper in America.
  46. Dr. Shirley Jackson is an American physicist whose experiments in theoretical physics became the forerunner for the touch-tone telephone, the portable fax, caller ID, call waiting and fiber-optic cable.
  47. Marian Croak holds over 135 patents and is responsible for voice over Internet protocol which is the set of rules that makes it possible to use the Internet for telephone and videophone communication.
  48. Mary and Mildred Jackson invented the sanitary belt. Mary also invented the walker and toilet-tissue holder.
  49. Matthew Henson was at the first man to see the North Pole.
  50. James Weldon Johnson was a writer and musician that wrote the National Black Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
  51. Carter G. Woodson is the “Father of Black History” and known for the development of “black historiography.” The is a body of history proven by the employment of scientific methods and procedures.
  52. Jack Johnson is the first back heavyweight champion of the world.
  53. Dr. George Grant invented the first golf tee. Before his invention, golfers carried buckets of sand from hole to hole and built sand mounds from which to hit the balls.
  54. Richard Spikes was an engineer who invented the beer tap and automobile gear shift and directional shift.
  55. Willis Johnson holds a patent for an improved egg beater which is considered an early version of the mixing machine.
  56. Benjamin Thorton invented the first answering machine. He created a device that could be attached to a telephone and set to record a message from a caller.


Please follow and like us: