HowStuffWorks: 10 Black Scientists You Should Know

Since before the Civil War, Black scientists have been conducting pioneering research that has changed the way we still live and work today.

Despite experiencing racial bias from an early age, these remarkable people kept their eyes on the prize. They persevered when educational opportunities were barred because of prejudice, and found ways to do research when employment was denied for no reason other than the color of their skin.

From well-known Black scientists, such as George Washington Carver, to James West, who coinvented the microphone, to those whose impressive scientific records have nearly languished in obscurity, our list will have you rethinking what else might be left out of your history textbook.


  1. George Washington Carver
  2. James West
  3. Charles H. Turner
  4. Mae Jemison
  5. Percy Julian
  6. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. David Harold Blackwell
  8. Marie Maynard Daly
  9. Patricia Bath
  10. Ernest Everett Just

Author’s Note: 10 Black Scientists You Should Know

This was a memorable assignment to research, not only because of the achievements of each of these scientists. The obstacles each scientist faced, which included racial and gender prejudices that prevented educational and employment opportunities, must have been frustrating and, at times, seemed insurmountable. Yet each scientist managed to not only achieve a level of success, but to pioneer new research methods and make discoveries that often had global implications.

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By: Laurie L. Dove

Science Topics
Inventions & Scientists
Black & African American, Role Models
Ernest Just, George Washington Carver, James West, Marie Daly, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Patricia Bath, Percy Julian
K-6, Middle School, High School
4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

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