There are MANY Black inventors; this list is not exhaustive. I chose a few inventors my kids wanted to learn about, or have learned about, to feature. Please continue to research and include historical Black figures in your homeschool on a regular basis, not just during Black History Month.
Before we get started, I MUST mention this amazing playlist: Black History for Kids. It's not all about inventors, but this playlist is a great jumping off point for learning about Black History and Black Excellence!
Black Inventors – Free Unit Study
Download my free workbook to help your students create their own report on Black Inventors!
When doing research to write this post, I noticed there are several resources about inventors and their inventions out there, but very few lists include Black inventors. I hope this list will help you get started with your own research. 🙂
Mary and Mildred Davidson
Sisters, Mary Davidson Kenner and Mildred Davidson came from a family of inventors. The siblings patented several household items, including the toilet paper holder. Yes, Mary Davidson is responsible for the “which way does it go?” argument in every household.
From childhood to becoming an early adult, Kenner was consistently creating things. She created a sponge tip to adhere to umbrella’s to stop water from dripping on the floor, a portable ashtray for cigarettes and a convertible roof for cars that could protect all passenger’s from weather ailments, all before she entered college. (Source)
Mary and Mildred Davidson Vocabulary Words
Learn more about Mary and Mildred Davidson.
George Washington Carver
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.“
Books About George Washington Carver
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- Fantastic Kids: George Washington Carver (Time for Kids Nonfiction Readers)
- George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist (Heroes of History)
- George Washington Carver: A Life (Southern Biography Series)
- The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver
- Who Was George Washington Carver?
- George Washington Carver: A Life From Beginning to End (FREE on Kindle Unlimited)
- A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver
- National Geographic Readers: George Washington Carver (FREE with Kindle FreeTime Unlimited)
- George Washington Carver for Kids: His Life and Discoveries, with 21 Activities
George Washington Carver Vocabulary List
- sweet potatoes
Top 10 Fun Facts About George Washington Carver
If your children are visual and audio learners, videos can help with retaining more information.
Charles Richard Drew
“Father of the Blood Bank”
Renowned surgeon and pioneer of blood plasma, Charles Drew discovered the method for long-term storage of blood bank plasma. He also organized America's first large-scale blood bank.
Books to read about Charles Richard Drew
- Charles Drew (Black Americans of Achievement)
- Dr. Charles Drew, Medical Pioneer (Journey to Freedom)
- Charles Drew (My Itty-Bitty Bio)
Learn more about Charles Richard Drew.
The Real McCoy
Creator of the graphite lubricator, which allowed new super heater trains and devices to be oiled. McCoy's invention enabled trains to run faster and more efficiently. He held 57 US patents.
Elijah McCoy's parents were former slaves from Kentucky who escaped through the Underground Railroad.
Books about Elijah McCoy
- All Aboard!: Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine
- Elijah McCoy: Inventor (Beginning Biographies)
- The Real Mccoy, The: Life of an African-America Inventor
Learn more about Elijah McCoy.
Don't forget to download the workbook! I'd love to see the reports your kiddos come up with. Share them with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like them featured here!