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(The Network Journal) — America without Black labor, ingenuity, creativity, innovation and invention would be in the dark ages, and you take that anyway you want to. Granville Woods, Garrett Morgan, Lewis Latimer, and Elijah McCoy are a few inventors—genius tinkerers—who come quickly to mind when considering the roles they played in the development of modern America.  There is a tendency to discount the continuing role of Black inventors in science and technology in the digital age, but they are just as prominent, just as invisible now, as they were in the past.  At a recent event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, a man in a wheelchair asked at the top his voice during a question and answer session on African American athletes “Who invented the cell phone?”  When no one answered, he shouted “A Black man, Henry Sampson.”

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