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Karla Dunn, Alumni Manager
February 1, 2019

As we begin Black History Month, I stopped to consider how much African Americans have impacted the culture of America in a positive way, even in the midst of very arduous and trying circumstances. I think most people are aware of the prominent inventors that are trotted out every February to remember their contribution to society at large. We are are very thankful for the traffic light, cotton gin, peanut products, hair products, refrigeration system, blood plasma, light filaments, etc. But the contributions didn’t stop back in the day!  African Americans continue impact the entire world with ground-breaking innovations and life changing products.

Think of your daily life and then think of what that life would look like without these products invented by African Americans:

Dust Pan
Electric Lamp
Gas Heating Furnace
Gas Mask
Golf Tee
Home Security System
Ice Cream Scoop
Ironing Board
Lawn Mower
Lawn Sprinkler
Potato Chips
Portable Pencil Sharpener
Super Soaker
Thermostat and Temperature Control
Traffic Light

I for one can not imagine life without ice cream scoops or potato chips. And I’m sure that eventually someone would have thought of these inventions. But they didn’t have to, because of the dedication of these fine scientists, designers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who just happened to have a little more melanin in their skin.

Black History Month has been important and needed as an observance, to remind us of the contributions of our ancestors. I however, look forward to the day when we can drop the ‘Black’ from ‘History Month’ and just celebrate the contributions of all. As an organization that was started by three young Black men, MORTAR assists in keeping the legacy of creativity and innovation alive in the community. I am very proud of the contributions that are being made by MORTAR graduates today and in the

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