10 Brilliant Black Mathematicians Who Never Received the Praise They Deserved


Lewis Howard Latimer (Sept. 4, 1848 – Dec. 11, 1928)

Latimer was an inventor and draftsman responsible for some of Alexander Graham Bell’s greatest inventions. Unlike most of the people on this list, Latimer was a self-educated mathematician. During the 1870s, he worked on a series of groundbreaking inventions, like an improved toilet system on railroad cars. It has the U.S. Patent 147,363. In 1876, he began working with Bell as a draftsman for the telephone. He is also responsible for the carbon filaments in light bulbs. In 1881, he received a patent for his process of manufacturing carbons. 


Charles Lewis Reason (July 21, 1818 – Aug. 16, 1893)

Reason was a mathematician who became the first Black person to teach at a predominantly white college in America. He taught belles-lettres, Greek, Latin, French and mathematics at New York Central College, McGrawville. Reason and Charles Bennett Ray founded the New York-based Society for the Promotion of Education Among Colored Children in 1847.

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