Past and Present: 6 Astounding Black Chemists You Should Know


Alice A. Ball (1892-1916)

Ball was a promising chemist who broke new ground in the field before her untimely death. In 1915, she was the first Black woman to graduate from the University of Hawaii. Ball earned a master’s in chemistry. As a student, she developed a cure for Hansen disease or leprosy using chaulmoogra oil. Sadly, at the age of 24, she died of an unknown ailment.