On February 29, 2020, I had the honor to visit an event at the Rossell African-American History Awareness Museum and I had the honor of meeting Mrs. Carolyn Rossell, the founder of the museum. Over the years she has collected and cherished so much history. While she graciously took all the visitors on a guided tour, what stood out to me the most, was how much of our people had been held back or was the first to invent and accomplish so much from Medicine, Math, Aviation, Science and the list goes on and on. So much we were never taught in school. How much was actually stolen from us.
I learned about Katherine Johnson, who was an American Mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the first US Space flights. Then there's Henrietta Lacks who was an African-American woman whose cancer cells are the source of the He La cell line, the first immortalized human cell line and one of the most important cell lines in medical research. Then there's Dr. Patricia Bath, the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent after she invented a more precise treatment of cataracts. She was an early pioneer of laser cataract surgery. Another great was Bessie Coleman, the first female African American woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from Frances's well-known Caudron Brothers School of Aviation in just seven months.
By Sister Teresa Arliyah Johnson