Each Month the Library will post an Educational Short
on Our Website Newsletter. These Shorts will include Bios on Famous Africans who have contributed to Our Struggle.
Dr. Patricia Bath
Dr. Bath an ophthalmologist from New York, but living in Los Angeles when she received
her patent, became the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention. Patricia Bath's patent
(no. 4,744,360), a method for removing cataract lenses, transformed eye surgery, using a Laser device making the procedure
Patricia Bath’s passionate dedication to the treatment and prevention of blindness led
her to develop the Cataract Laserphaco Probe. The probe, patented in 1988, is designed to use the power of a laser to quickly
and painlessly vaporize cataracts from patients’ eyes, replacing the more common method of using a grinding, drill-like
device to remove the afflictions. With another invention, Bath was able to restore sight to people who had been blind for
over 30 years. Patricia Bath also holds patents for her invention in Japan, Canada, and Europe.
Patricia Bath graduated from the Howard University School of Medicine in 1968 and completed
specialty training in ophthalmology and corneal transplant at both New York University and Columbia University. In 1975, Bath
became the first African-American woman surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center and the first woman to be on the faculty of the
UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute. She is the founder and first president of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.
Patricia Bath was elected to Hunter College Hall of Fame in 1988 and elected as Howard University Pioneer in Academic Medicine
Janet Emerson Bashen - First African American female to hold a patent
for a software invention.
In January 2006, Ms. Bashen became the first African American female to hold a patent for a software invention.
The patented software, LinkLine, is a web-based application for EEO claims intake and tracking, claims management, document
management and numerous reports. Bashen will soon release the federal sector counterpart, EEOFedSoft, MD715Link and the web-based
AAPSoft for building Affirmative Action Plans.
Janet Emerson Bashen was issued U.S. patent #6,985,922 on January 10 2006, for a "Method, Apparatus and System for Processing
Compliance Actions over a Wide Area Network."
Janet Emerson Bashen, formerly Janet Emerson, attended Alabama A&M until she married and relocated to
Houston, Texas, where she now resides.
Bashen’s educational background includes a degree in legal studies and government from The University of Houston,
and postgraduate studies at Rice University’s Jesse H Jones Graduate School of Administration. Bashen is also a graduate
of Harvard University’s “Women and Power: Leadership in a New World.” Bashen will soon be pursuing her LLM
from Northwestern California University School of Law.
Bashen maintains a very strong community commitment and is on the Board of Directors for the North Harris Montgomery County
Community College District Foundation, and chairs the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Association of Negro Business
and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., and is a Board member of the PrepProgram, a non-profit organization dedicated
to preparing at-risk student athletes for college.
Janet Emerson Bashen is the founder, President and CEO of Bashen Corporation, a leading human resources consulting firm
that pioneered end-to-end EEO compliance administration services. Established in September 1994, Bashen built the business
from her home office/kitchen table with no money, one client and a fervent commitment to succeed.
Janet Emerson Bashen and Bashen Corporation are continually recognized nationally for their business achievements. In May,
2000, Bashen testified before Congress regarding the effect of the FTC opinion letter on third party discrimination investigations.
Bashen, along with Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, were key figures in the change in legislation.
In October 2002, Bashen Corporation was named one of America’s entrepreneurial growth leaders by Inc Magazine in
its annual Inc 500 ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, with an increase in sales of 552%. In
October 2003, Bashen was given the Pinnacle Award by the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce. Bashen is also the recipient
of the prestigious Crystal Award, presented by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs,
Inc., for achievement in business.
Quote from Janet Emerson Bashen:
“My success and failures make me who I am and who I am is a black woman raised in the south by working class parents
who tried to give me a better life by fostering a fervent commitment to succeed.” - Janet Emerson Bashen
Who was Dr. Chancellor James Williams?
Of the recent towering figures in the struggle to completely eradicate
the pervasive racial myths clinging to the origins of Nile Valley Civilization, few scholars have had the impact of Dr. Chancellor
James Williams (1898-1992). Chancellor Williams, the youngest of five children, was born in Bennetsville, South Carolina
December 22, 1898. His father had been a slave; his mother a cook, nurse, and evangelist. A stirring writer, Chancellor Williams
achieved wide acclaim as the author of the 1971 publication, The Destruction of Black Civilization--Great Issues of a Race
from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.
Totally uncompromising, highly controversial, broadly sweeping in
its range and immensely powerful in its scope, there have been few books published during the past half-century focusing on
the African presence in antiquity that have so profoundly affected the consciousness of African people in search of their
historical identity. Dr. John Henrik Clarke, now an ancestor and a contemporary of Dr. Williams and one of our most
outstanding scholars, described The Destruction of Black Civilization as "a foundation and new approach to the history of
our race." In The Destruction of Black Civilization Chancellor Williams successfully "shifted the main focus from the
history of Arabs and Europeans in Africa to the Africans themselves--a history of the Blacks that is a history of Blacks."
The career of Chancellor Williams was spacious and varied; university
professor, novelist, and author-historian. He was the father of fourteen children. Blind and in poor health, the
last years of Dr. Williams' life were spent in a nursing home in Washington, D.C. His contributions to the reconstruction
of African civilization, however, stand as monuments and beacons reflecting the past, present and future of African people.
Who is CARTER GODWIN WOODSON "FATHER OF BLACK HISTORY"
Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the
teaching of biography and history.
These are the words of Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, distinguished Black author, editor, publisher, and historian (December
1875 - April 1950). Carter G. Woodson believed that Blacks should know their past in order to participate intelligently in
the affairs in our country. He strongly believed that Black history - which others have tried so diligently to erase - is
a firm foundation for young Black Americans to build on in order to become productive citizens of our society.
Known as the "Father of Black History," Carter G. Woodson holds an outstanding position in early 20th century American
history. Woodson authored numerous scholarly books on the positive contributions of Blacks to the development of America.
He also published many magazine articles analyzing the contributions and role of Black Americans. He reached out to schools
and the general public through the establishment of several key organizations and founded Negro History Week (precursor to
Black History Month). His message was that Blacks should be proud of their heritage and that other Americans should also understand
Carter G. Woodson was born in New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia, to former slaves Anne Eliza (Riddle) and James Henry
Woodson. Although his parents could neither read nor write, Carter G. Woodson credits his father for influencing the course
of his life. His father, he later wrote, insisted that "learning to accept insult, to compromise on principle, to mislead
your fellow man, or to betray your people, is to lose your soul."
His father supported the family on his earnings as a carpenter. As one of a large and poor family, young Carter G. Woodson
was brought up without the "ordinary comforts of life." He was not able to attend school during much of its five-month term
because helping on the farm took priority over a formal education. Determined not to be defeated by this setback, Carter was
able "largely by self-instruction to master the fundamentals of common school subjects by the time he was seventeen." Ambitious
for more education, Carter and his brother Robert Henry moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where they hoped to attend the
Douglass High School. However, Carter was forced to earn his living as a miner in Fayette County coal fields and was able
to devote only a few months each year to his schooling. In 1895, a twenty-year-old Carter entered Douglass High School, where
he received his diploma in less than two years.
From 1897 to 1900, Carter G. Woodson began teaching in Winona, Fayette County. In 1900, he returned to Huntington to become
the principal of Douglass H.S.; he finally received his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College, Kentucky. From 1903
to 1907, he was a school supervisor in the Philippines. Later he traveled throughout Europe and Asia and studied at the Sorbonne
University in Paris. In 1908, he received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and in 1912, he received his Ph.D. in history
from Harvard University.
During his lifetime, Dr. Woodson developed an important philosophy of history. History, he insisted, was not the mere gathering
of facts. The object of historical study is to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the facts. History is more than political
and military records of peoples and nations. It must include some description of the social conditions of the period being
Woodson's work endures in the institutions and activities he founded and promoted. In 1915, he and several friends in Chicago
established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The following year, the Journal of Negro History appeared,
one of the oldest learned journals in the United States. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week and in 1937 published the
first issue of the Negro History Bulletin.
Dr. Woodson often said that he hoped the time would come when Negro History Week would be unnecessary; when all Americans
would willingly recognize the contributions of Black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country.
Dr. Woodson's outstanding historical research influenced others to carry on his work. Among these have been such noted historians
as John Hope Franklin, Charles Wesley, and Benjamin Quarles. Whether it's called Black history, Negro history, Afro-American
history, or African American history, his philosophy has made the study of Black history a legitimate and acceptable area
of intellectual inquiry. Dr. Woodson's concept has given a profound sense of dignity to all Black Americans.
CHRONOLOGY of DR. WOODSON'S LIFE
1875, Dec. 19
Birth, New Canton, Virginia
Left home to work on the railroad and then in the mines
Family moved to Huntington, West Virginia
Attended Douglass High School, Huntington, West Virginia
Attended Berea College, Kentucky
Attended Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
Taught, Winona, West Virginia
Principal, Douglass High School, Huntington, West Virginia
June 18, 1902-Dec. 1903
Attended University of Chicago
Bachelor of Literature from Berea College
Taught in the Philippines
Traveled in Europe and Asia; attended the Sorbonne, Paris, France
Attended University of Chicago
Attended Graduate School, University of Chicago; received B.A. in March; M.A. in August
Attended Harvard University
Taught, M Street (Dunbar) High School, Washington, D.C.
Ph.D. in History from Harvard University
1913 or 1914-1921
Member of the American Negro Academy
The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 published
Established the Association for the Study of Negro Life & History
First Biennial meeting of ASNLH
A Century of Negro Migration published
Principal, Armstrong Manual Training School, Washington, D.C.
Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Howard University
Dean, West Virginia Collegiate Institute (West Virginia State College); Established Associated
Received grant from the Carnegie Institution; The History of the Negro Church published
The Negro in Our History published
Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the U.S. in 1830: Together with Absentee Ownership of Slaves
in the U.S. in 1830 published
Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830 published
Negro Orators and Their Orations published; The Mind of the Negro as Reflected in Letters
Written During the Crisis, 1800-1860published; established Negro History Week; received Spingarn Medal
Appointed to Advisory Committee, Interracial Relations Committee on Problems and Policy Social
Science Research Council; appointed staff contributor Dictionary of American Biography
Negro Makers of History published; African Myths: Together with Proverbs published
Attended summer meeting of Social Science Research Council, Dartmouth College
The Negro as a Businessman, with John H. Harmon, Jr. and Arnett G. Lindsay published
Established Woodson Collection at the Library of Congress
The Negro Wage Earner, with Lorenzo Greene published; The Rural Negro published
The encyclopedia controversy
Summers in Europe
The Mis-Education of the Negro published
The Negro Professional Man and the Community, with Special Emphasis on the Physician and the
THE EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO PRIOR TO 1861: A HISTORY OF THE EDUCATION OF THE
COLORED PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES FROM THE BEGINNING OF SLAVERY TO THE CIVIL WAR. New York: Putnam's, 1915. Repr. Ayer Co., 1968 LC2741.W7
A CENTURY OF NEGRO MIGRATION. Washington, D.C.: ASNLH., 1918. Repr. Russell,
THE HISTORY OF THE NEGRO CHURCH. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers,
THE NEGRO IN OUR HISTORY. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1922.
E185.9 .W89 1970
FREE NEGRO OWNERS OF SLAVES IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE UNITED STATES IN
1830: TOGETHER WITH ABSENTEE OWNERSHIP OF SLAVES IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1830, ed. Washington: ASNLH., 1924; Repr. Negro
Univ. Press. E185.W8873
FREE NEGRO HEADS OF FAMILIES IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1830: TOGETHER WITH
BRIEF TREATMENT OF THE FREE NEGRO. Washington: ASNLH., 1925. F185.W887125
NEGRO ORATORS AND THEIR ORATIONS, ed. Washington: Associated Publishers,
1926. Repr. Russell, 1969. PS663.N4.W6
THE MIND OF THE NEGRO AS REFLECTED IN LETTERS WRITTEN DURING THE CRISIS,
1800-1860, ed. Washington: ASNLH., 1926. Repr. E185.W8877 1969b
NEGRO MAKERS OF HISTORY. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1928. E185.W85
AFRICAN MYTHS TOGETHER WITH PROVERBS: A SUPPLEMENTARY READER COMPOSED OF
FOLK TALES FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF AFRICA. Adapted to use of children in the public schools. Washington: Associated Publishers,
1928. PE1127.G4 W7
THE NEGRO AS A BUSINESSMAN, joint author with John H. Harmon, Jr. and
Arnett G. Lindsay. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1929. E185.8.H251
THE NEGRO WAGE EARNER, joint author with Lorenzo J. Greene. Washington:
ASNLH., 1930. Repr. AMS Press. E185.G79
THE RURAL NEGRO. Washington: ASNLH., 1930. Repr. Russell, 1969. E185.86.W896
THE MIS-EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1933.
Repr. AMS Press, 1972. LC2801.W6 1977
THE NEGRO PROFESSIONAL MAN AND THE COMMUNITY: WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON THE
PHYSICIAN AND THE LAWYER. Washington: ASNLH., 1934 Repr. Negro University Press, 1969. Johnson Reprints E185.82.W88
THE STORY OF THE NEGRO RETOLD. Washington: Association Publishers, 1935.
THE AFRICAN BACKGROUND OUTLINED. Washington: ASNLH., 1936. DT351.W89
AFRICAN HEROES AND HEROINES. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1939.
THE CARTER G. WOODSON COLLECTION OF NEGRO PAPERS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS, 1803-1936,
Washington, D.C., Library of Congress 10 reels, 35mm microfilm Correspondence, diaries,
addresses, legal documents, newspaper clippings, and other papers relating to Negro history, the JOURNAL OF NEGRO HISTORY,
race relations, slavery, discrimination, Washington, D.C., employment opportunities, the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
State and local politics, and business. The papers of Benjamin T. Banner, Whitefield McKinlay, and John T. Clark are included
in this collection.
CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA, ed. Peter M. Bergman. New York: New American Library, 1969.
CURRENT BIOGRAPHY: WHO'S NEWS AND WHY 1944. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1944.
DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, Supplement Four, 1946-1950, ed. John A. Garraty and Edward T. James. New York:
Charles Scribners & Sons, 1974.
DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NEGRO BIOGRAPHY, ed. Rayford M. Logan and Michael R. Winston. New York: W.W. Norton and
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, ed. John A. Garraty and Jerome L. Sternstein. New York: Harper, 1974.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BLACK AMERICA, ed. Augustus Low. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1981.
INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEGRO LIFE AND HISTORY, Robinson, Wilhelmena B. HISTORICAL NEGRO BIOGRAPHIES. New
York: Publishers Co., 1967 [under the auspices of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.]
NATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. New York: James T. White, 1953. Vol 38.
NEGRO ALMANAC, ed. Harry A. Ploski and Ernest Kaiser. New York: Bellweather Co., 1971.
WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA: A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF NOTABLE LIVING MEN AND WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES. Chicago:
WHO'S WHO IN COLORED AMERICA: A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF NOTABLE LIVING PERSONS OF NEGRO DESCENT IN THE UNITED STATES.
New York: Who's Who in Colored America Corp., 1933, 1937, 1940, 1944.
WHO WAS WHO IN AMERICA: A COMPANION BIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCE TO WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, Vol. 3. Chicago: Marquis, 1960.
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