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Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson | Women’s History Month with GPS

Today, we highlight physicist, researcher, and University president, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. Our musical inspiration is a call to supporting each other, “I’ll Be There” as made popular by the Jackson 5, Mariah Carey, and other artists. Learn More Sponsor Black Excellence Each episode and blog post take $250 to create and…  Read More

Elijah McCoy | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this final day of February, GPS continues to highlight Black excellence by introducing us to the work of Elijah McCoy, an inventor and engineer who has over 57 patents to his name that touch on many facets of our everyday lives. Our musical inspiration is in the form of Duke Ellington’s legendary ballad, “Come…  Read More

George Edward Alcorn, Jr. | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this Saturday edition of Take 5, we highlight the extraordinary contributions George Edward Alcorn, Jr. has made to science and technology through his work with NASA and beyond. A physicist, engineer, inventor and distinguished professor, Alcorn Jr. has revolutionized the semiconductor industry. We go back to Motown and the music of The Four Tops…  Read More

Sarah Elisabeth Goode | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this episode we celebrate Sarah Elisabeth Goode, inventor of the “hide-away bed.” Our musical pairing is “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” traditional spiritual arranged by Harry T. Burleigh. Sarah Elisabeth Goode (1855-1905) Notable Achievements: One of the first African American women to be awarded a patent in 1885. Learn More Sponsor Thank You…  Read More

Miriam E. Benjamin | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this episode we celebrate Miriam E. Benjamin, an American school teacher and inventor who invented the “Gong and Signal Chair” for hotels, adopted by the United States House of Representatives and a pre-cursor to the flight attendant signaling system on modern airplanes. Our musical pairing is “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by…  Read More

Alfred L. Cralle | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this episode we celebrate Alfred L. Cralle, an African American businessman and inventor who was best known for inventing the ice cream scoop in 1897. Our musical pairing is “Do Lord,” a traditional Negro spiritual. Alfred L. Cralle (1866-1919) Notable Achievements: He did not become famous for his invention of his ice cream scoop.…  Read More

Alice H. Parker | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On this episode we explore the contributions of inventor of central heating using natural gas, Alice H. Parker. Our musical pairing is “Heatwave” by Brian & Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier, made popular by Martha and the Vandellas. Alice H. Parker (1895-1920) Notable Achievements:Very little is known about Alice Parker’s life. She attended classes at…  Read More

Dr. Patricia Bath | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this Monday episode we explore the contributions of Dr. Patricia Bath, Ophthalmologist, Inventor, Humanitarian, and educator, who invented the laser cataract surgery called the Lazerphaco Probe. Our musical pairing is “I’ll Be Seeing You,” by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal. Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019) Notable Achievements: Dr. Patricia Bath discovered and invented a new…  Read More

George Washington Carver | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this Sunday edition of Take 5, GPS continues our exploration of Black Excellence by highlighting the contributions of well-known figures. George Washington Carver is regarded is the most influential African American scientist of the early 20th century, with well over 100 inventions credited to his work. Gospel music icon, Rev. James Cleveland, inspires and…  Read More

Marie Van Brittan Brown | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On this twentieth day in our series honoring Black Excellence, GPS introduces us to the ground breaking invention of Marie Van Brittan Brown, who created something that many use each day either when leaving their house or heading to sleep. Speaking of sleep, our musical inspiration comes in the form of a song made popular…  Read More

Jester Hairston | Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle

In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Jester Hairston.  Jester Hairston 1901-2000 Jester Hairston was an American actor, composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor, Goodwill Ambassador, and expert on Spirituals. He was born in Belews Creek, North Carolina, the grandson of a slave,…  Read More

George Crum | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature inventor and chef George Crum (originally George Speck), credited with inventing the potato chip. Our musical pairing is “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, made popular by Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, and the Pips. George Crum aka George…  Read More

Harriet Powers | 28 Days of Black Excellence

On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature American folk artist and quilter, Harriet Powers, who weaved stories into her art to pass stories to future generations. Our musical pairing is “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder,” a traditional Negro Spiritual by a hidden figure. Harriet Powers (1837-1910) Notable Achievements: Although not recognized during…  Read More

Katherine Johnson | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature famous mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose mathematical calculations helped send Apollo 11 to the moon. Our musical pairing is “I Got a Robe,” a traditional Negro Spiritual. Katherine Johnson (1918-2020) Notable Achievements: Presidential Medal of Freedom, Silver Snoopy award, NASA Group Achievement Award, Congressional…  Read More

Dr. Percy Lavon Julian | 28 Days of Black Excellence

  On today’s episode of 28 Days of Black Excellence we feature Dr. Percy Lavon Julian. Despite considerable persecution due to segregation and racism throughout his life, Percy Julian became a steroid chemist and an entrepreneur who ingeniously figured out how to synthesize important medicinal compounds from abundant plant sources, making them more affordable to…  Read More