Black History Report Looks At Inventions

This week's "Black History" report focuses on a recent play at ECU all about shining the spotlight on inventions by black people.

The educational play is titled "1001 Black Inventions." It takes a look at the many scientific contributions of black people from Africa to America.

Dr. Lathan Turner, Associate Dean of Studies at ECU, says, "When we sit down to learn about where these inventions came from most people are totally amazed at the things that African Americans have created"

Some of those things include the traffic light from Garrett Morgan, and Madam CJ Walker and the straightening comb.

According to play write Ersky Freeman, the idea came from the fact that he was frustrated at seeing black people only portrayed as entertainers and athletes. Freeman says, "From everything my mother and father taught me, we were much more than that. The play tries to emphasize the truth of the matter that our foremost contributions to the world as a people are of the intellect."

Dr. Turner hopes the message reaches beyond the campus of East Carolina University. "We're bringing this play again, to East Carolina University to help educate the broader community about the cultural awareness and cultural appreciation that is deserved"

Using the vehicle of humor, freeman teaches a simple message that he says everyone can learn from. Freeman says, "What separates a genius from a normal everyday person is just perseverance."