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African-American inventor Elijah the Real McCoy was born in Canada on May 2, 1844, the son of escaped slaves.  During his life time McCoy received 57 patents for devices which improved versions of his automatic lubrication process. The high quality of McCoy's inventions gained such notoriety that the phrase "the Real McCoy" was coined to distinguish his inventions from cheap imitations.

Elijah McCoy, an African-American man, invented a device to keep train wheels oiled while the train was running. Others tried similar devices, but his was the best – and that’s the origination of the phrase The Real McCoy

Vivien Thomas, African-American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s.  Thomas was also offered the position of Chief of Surgery at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins in 1941.

Vivien Thomas, cardiac surgery pioneer, He first developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome

“ STEPIN FETCHIT, and wife DOROTHY STEVENSON (1929)Fox, Fetchit became a Fox contract player in 1929 after several years of film making. This portrait with his first wife was distributed at the time...

Stepin Fetchit and wife Dorothy Stevenson in Stepin's real name was Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry. He was the Black actor to become a millionaire and the black actor to receive featured screen credit in a film.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was the first African-American woman to be appointed dean of a United States medical school. Her identity is associated with a famous family name, as she is the sister of music legend Diana Ross. She now serves as dean of the New York Institute of Technology's New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Barbara Ross-Lee was the first African-American woman to be appointed dean of a United States medical school. Her identity is associated with a famous family name, as she is the sister of music legend Diana Ross. She now serves as dean of the New York

May 5,1950, Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry

May Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She's also a devastating diva of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc!

In 1869, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Ebenezer D. Bassett Ambassador to Haiti, making him the first black diplomat to represent the US.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: In Republican President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Ebenezer D. Bassett Ambassador to Haiti, making him the first black diplomat to represent the U.

Thelma Porter Miss Subway 1948

Midcentury Breakthrough: Classic Beauty: Thelma Porter, Miss Subways (New York City) 1948 Thelma was the first woman to integrate a beauty contest in America and became the first African American Miss Subways in April

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