KidsPlayandCreate.com’s “African American Inventors Black History Month for Kids” and National Geographic for Kids’ article “Black Inventors and Pioneers of Science” are good lists of famous black inventors for younger kids. “Famous Black Inventors” on Biography.com and “Famous African American Inventors” on Scholastic.com are more comprehensive and better suited for older kids.
“African American Inventors Black History Month for Kids” has a succinct list that features George Washington Carver, who, in addition to inventing hundreds of uses for the peanut, developed important agricultural methods to help farmers produce higher yields and reduce exposure to drought and disease. Also featured are Madam C. J. Walker, the first African American female millionaire who developed hair and skin products for black women; Garrett A. Morgan, whose inventions of the gas mask and three-way traffic light have saved millions of lives; Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first successful open-heart surgery; and Jan Ernst Matzeliger who invented a machine to produce shoes faster. National Geographic’s list adds Mark E. Dean, who developed the system used by computers to communicate with printers and other peripheral devices, and Percy L. Julian, who developed several important drugs from the soybean.
The lists on Biography.com and Scholastic.com contain more in-depth articles and lesser-known inventors such as Sarah Goode, Lonnie G. Johnson, Lewis Howard Latimer, Granville T. Woods and Patricia Bath. These lists also include articles on Elijah McCoy, James West, George Carruthers and Otis Boykin.