Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors

Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors
Item# 9780471387077

Product Description

by Otha Richard Sullivan, James Haskins (Editor), James Haskins (Editor), Georgia Williams Scaife (Foreword by), Georgia Williams Scaife (Foreword by)


Sullivan once headed Detroit's program to infuse African American history into the public school curriculum. Here he profiles 25 black American woman who have made significant contributions to science and technology, explaining that many, many more are utterly unknown because first of legal bans on granting patents to slaves and later because of social constraints on women. His message to black school girls is that just because they have not heard of black women scientists does not mean that the profession is closed to them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Children's Literature:

Author Sullivan has compiled twenty-six short biographical sketches of mostly little known African American women scientists and inventors. The book is divided into three parts: The Early Years, Into the New Century, and Modern Times. Women such as Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to fly into space and Alexa Canady, a pediatric neurosurgeon are highlighted. Others are Betty Wright Harris, a chemist who works in the field of nuclear weapons, and Marjorie Stewart Joyner who invented a permanent-wave machine. There are sidebars throughout the book that relate to the womens' work. In the first chapter, a sketch on Ellen Eglin, an inventor of a clothes-wringer in the 1880s, is given. However, the sidebar, which talks about The Spirit of Invention, mentions a man Benjamin Banneker. This is the only exeption; the rest of the book deals with the achievements of women. Beside the original twenty-six women, other, shorter biographical sketches are given. There are black and white drawings of some of the inventions and photographs of the women. There is also a sidebar that lists the notable firsts for African American Women Doctors. A chronology and bibliography are also included. This is a nice book about the achievements of African American women. 2002, John Wiley and Sons, $22.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi


OTHA RICHARD SULLIVAN, Ed.D., is a former science teacher and middle school guidance counselor. As head of Detroit's program to infuse African American history into the public school curriculum, he instructed teachers on how to incorporate African American scientific history into their classes. He is also the author of African American Inventors (Wiley). JIM HASKINS has written more than one hundred books for young readers, including African American Entrepreneurs (Wiley); his collaboration with Rosa Parks on her autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story; and Black Eagles: African Americans in Aviation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Washington Post Children's Book Guild Award for the body of his work, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award.

Paperback: 160 pages