Thursday, February 05, 2009

Black History Month Daily Thread

Today we honor some of our scientists:

Ernest Everett Just

Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941) was a pioneering African American U.S. biologist. Just spent his adult life collecting, classifying, and caring for his marine specimens. He believed that scientists should study whole cells under normal conditions, rather than simply breaking them apart in a laboratory setting. Just's primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. Just went on to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1907, the only student to graduate magna cum laude.[2] Ernest won special honors in botany, history, and sociology and was designated as a Rufus Choate scholar for two years. On November 17, 1911, Just assisted three Howard students (Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, and Frank Coleman), in establishing the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just by Kenneth R. Manning

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (January 1864[1][2] – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor whose studies and teaching revolutionized agriculture in the Southern United States. The day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born before slavery was abolished in Missouri in January 1864.[1]

Much of Carver's fame is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes that used peanuts.[3] He also created or disseminated about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin.

If you ever get down to Tuskegee University, go to the Carver Museum.

George Washington Carver: In His Own Words by George W. Carver (Author), Gary R. Kremer (Editor)

George Washington Carver: Man's Slave Becomes God's Scientist by David Collins (Author),

George Washington Carver: The Peanut Wizard by Laura Driscoll

George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden (Author), In Association with The Field Museum (Author)


Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind.

There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn't worth anything.


Percy L. Julian

Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975) was an African American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine; and was an African American pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones, steroids, progesterone, and testosterone, from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work would lay the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills. He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the Mexican wild yam. His work helped reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies.[1]

During his lifetime he received more than 130 chemical patents. Julian was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field.[1]


Percy Lavon Julian: Pioneering Chemist by Darlene R. Stille

Black Pioneers of Science and Invention by Louis Haber

1 comment:

Brown Man said...

E. E. Just started out at South Carolina State College, back when it was still a rawboned A & M industrial school, which was in my hometown of Orangeburg SC, before he went on to Dartmouth.