African American Pioneers in STEAM Highlighted in Museum Exhibition


The lower floor of the African American Museum in Dallas‘ Fair Park is filled with the accomplishments of African American Pioneers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“Most of these people were left out of the history books,” African American Museum Curator of Education Robert Edison said. “This is why we like to showcase what we call missing parts of American history.”

The exhibition highlights inventions and improvements African Americans made in the fields of STEAM.

“Black people were stigmatized because of their color and placed in a bag of inferiority,” Edison said “These contributions dispel that myth of their inferiority.”

Some of their named and accomplishments have been forgotten or overlooked, like Lewis Latimer. “He invested the filament in the light,” Edison said.

The inventions and improvements include the gas mask, the Super Soaker, and the guitar as we know it today.

“Everyone is surprised to see Michael Jackson,” Edison said. The King of Pop patented the technology for his gravity-defying shoes. “Hook them onto the floor and do his lean.”

The exhibit includes pioneers in flight and space, who reached for the stars and got there.

“The word ‘African’ and the word ‘American’ end in the last four letters I C A N,” Edison said. “So we say this is an ‘I can’ museum. So we bring students in here to see, if he can do it, I can do it.”

The African American Pioneers in STEAM exhibition runs through March 17 at the African American Museum in Dallas.



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