Have we ever imagined what life would be without black people? Ok. I am not racist and I don’t indulge in racism but I read this very touching story (author unknown) which had to do with my heritage. You see, I am black and proudly so. The story goes like this:
A group of white people who were fed up with African Americans joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.
At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief.
‘At last’, they said, ‘no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare.’
All of the blacks have gone! Then suddenly, reality set in. The ‘NEW AMERICA’ is not America at all – only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Albert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper..
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press.
They were all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis
Lattimer later invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern, and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door – barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board, and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator…
Now, isn’t that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘by the time we leave for work, millions of Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.’
Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.
You will quite agree with me that this story is very touching and inspiring and gives courage to all the blacks out there to invent more and achieve more for themselves. No race is superior to the other, because together we all make world go round. Just as we imagined life without black people, so also will life be miserable without the other race.
But do you know the barriers these Black American inventors faced at every turn in their life and yet they were able to invent meaningful things that have assisted the development of the world. They were blocked from patenting their inventions in the 19th century, but they never gave up inventing things. They were fighters, yet we live in a world which is better than theirs and so we have no excuse whatsoever to invent, dream and achieve, not even bad governance, rough economic and business terrain should discourage us or under development and conflicts or crisis. We should rather be pushed by these factors as Africans to prove the perception of the world that we are only good in corruption, stealing, fighting, bloodshed and rituals. Now is the time to be inspired by the likes of Sarah Boone, George T Samon, Walter Sammons, John Standard and more.
SO next time you look in the mirror as you comb your hair for work or for that party or outing remember a black person just like yourself invented the comb.