Humanity owes the Black race a lot of apologies for stealing her achievements and denying her ingenuity. As we dig more and more into Black history, we are surprised to find that the Black race has contributed immensely to the progress of humanity. But what is more shocking is the fact that the white supremacists of this world have
claimed these inventions and denied their Black originators.
Garett Augustus Morgan was an outstanding
African-American inventor of all time. He is the
origin of the urban traffic revolution. He invented the
traffic signs which is today still used to ensure
safety on our roads. He invented the gas mask with
which we can protect ourselves from toxic gases,
and he also invented the hair relaxer, among many
Garett was one of seven children of a poor family,
from Kentucky, USA.
A self-educated man who
didn’t go beyond elementary school, he moved to
Cleveland in 1895, where he was hired as a sewing
machine technician. In 1907, motivated by his job,
he invented the better sewing machine, and later on,
invented the hair relaxer.
In 1914, Garrett designed the modern gas mask
which protects users from inhaling toxic gases but
at the same time does not prevent respiration. Due
to racism, selling his gas mask to the firefighter’s
companies proved impossible, so he just made
samples for himself.
In 1916, there was an explosion in a hydraulic
station tunnel which was 75 meters below the Erie
Lake, 32 people were trapped in the tunnel and
fortunately, Garrett heard about it. Alongside his
brother Franck, they put on their gas mask and
headed for the location of the incident, carried all
32 persons out of the tunnel on their back and
became heroes, as the news spread like wide fire.
By reason of this event, his invention had proven its
efficacy. His mask was first utilized by firemen and
soldiers during World War 1.
Garrett would later invent the traffic sign system in
1923 after witnessing a ghastly accident between
the automobile, a cabriolet and a horse. The horse
would later be killed because it was severely
injured, the driver of the automobile collapsed, and
two people were extracted from cabriolet. The
traffic signal system has today advanced and is
now being used all over the world.
Garett was not just an inventor but also one who
had a heart for his roots. He was a member of the
Black lobby, the NAACP, and in 1920, co-created
an African-American journal called Cleveland Call.
He urged Black people to buy shares from his
company and was honored by the city of Cleveland
which gave him a gold medal set with diamonds.
Garett passed on July 27th, 1963.
The story of men such as Garett should form the
foundation of Black consciousness and
emancipation from the gross dependency on the
white race. Our people have been made to believe
that no good thing can come out of Africa and
Black people in general, but that is a big lie.
It has been the intentions of our detractors to
discredit the Black race – this reinforces white
supremacy and the need for Europeans and white
foreigners to continue to interfere with the affairs of
African governance, political, social, religious and
We must do our best to teach our people these
achievements. Because if these Black men could
achieve such feet at an era where there was no
internet and computers, then imagine what we can
achieve in this time and era.