By Asmeret Tesfay

Week three….WE are glad that you woke up today and are reading this. 

We will make this short and sweet...Let's begin. :-)

We are continuing to honor and celebrate the Black-American innovators of American History.

This time around let’s celebrate the Black Women who contributed to our everyday uses in our world through their forward-thinking and determination. 

Have you heard of?:

  • Mary Van Brittan Brown (1922-1999), a Black nurse and inventor had an idea of the home surveillance system as she saw a need due to an increase of crime in her neighborhood in New York City as well as the slow response time of emergencies by law enforcement. Her original invention was comprised of peepholes, a camera, monitors, and a two-way microphone. The device also included an emergency alarm button to notify the police. She along with her husband, Albert Brown filed for a patent in 1966 and was approved in 1969. Her invention is the prototype of today’s modern home security system. Thank you Mrs. Brown for seeing the need in community safety.


  • Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), a committed educator and champion of racial and gender equality, noticed the limited education for Black Americans in the schools, so she opened/founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904, a school for black girls. In 1923, this school joined forces with an all-male institute. The merged school became a success and doubled in enrollment. Today this school is called, Bethune-Cookman University located in Daytona Beach, Florida. If that wasn’t kick butt enough-Bethune led voter registration drives after women gained the right to vote in 1920.  Thank you Ms. Bethune for being such a powerhouse and advocate for human rights.


  • Maxine Snowden, an inventor and visionary created a light-weight water-resistant rain hat that had a front and rear periphery. The front of the hat had a brim and the crown of the hat included an elastic sack for women to place their hair in. Sadly, we don’t get much rain in the Mile-High, but if you have noticed rain hats have been re-invented and has made a comeback as a fashion statement. This invention was patented in 1983. Thank you Ms. Snowden for your brilliant and unique invention.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s celebration of Black Women Originators in American History.

Until the following week…..HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

Written by Equity on February 20, 2021