Mind On The ‘Matter’
BY SHEILA COLLINS
Our world-altering contributions alone demonstrate why black lives should be more precious in America.
The videotaped police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling have stirred international outrage. It resonated everywhere, because it is well-known that, at various points in history, law enforcement has been a source of great pain for African-Americans.
And why do black lives matter? Because there is a flip side to that history. Indeed, the world would be a much different place without the tremendous contributions by brilliant men and women of African descent.
This has been true since the dawn of humanity — but we don’t have to reach back that far, or even to antiquity, to illustrate the indelible impact that black people have had on all of our lives. Indeed, we have been the creative force behind 300 years of progress right here in America.
Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, is responsible for saving countless lives as the originator of open heart surgery. Garret Morgan made us all safer by inventing the traffic light. Fred Jones developed refrigeration for trucks, helping to import and export goods all over the world. Lewis Latimer invented the lightbulb, allowing people all over the world to have light after sunset. Benjamin Banneker created the almanac to evaluate the times of the rising and setting of sun, moon and eclipses. George Crum came up with the potato chip, which is now at the center of a $28.2 billion industry.
Black ingenuity has always been a beacon of light in America, this land’s heart and soul to America’s existence. And that’s why black lives matter.