6 Amazing Facts About the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson

Celebrating the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson

(Aug. 14, 1914 – June 07, 1995)

The Beginning 

Branson was a physicist and chemist who was responsible for discovering the alpha-helix protein structure in biological systems. He was educated at Virginia State College in 1936 where he earned a bachelor’s in physics. After graduating, Branson went on to the University of Cincinnati to obtain his Ph.D. in physics. He studied under the direction of Boris Padowski in 1939 who was a confidant of Albert Einstein. Branson and Padowski wrote the research paper On the Quantization of Mass in 1940.

The Best Apps You Need to Know Designed By Black Developers

We all love the apps on our phone or mobile tablet and there are tons of them that make our lives simpler. What’s even better is that many apps were created by Black developers.

Take a look at 10 great apps that were created by us and for us.

HBCU Buddy

Founders: Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller

Purpose: Provides prospective and current students with information about historically Black colleges and universities on aspects of student life, admissions, alumni, standardized test scores and faculty research. The app also has virtual campus tours and integrates social networking with Twitter and Facebook.

Why You Need It: Founders Keels and Miller are Spelman College alum and used their love of technology and HBCU culture to create HBCU Buddy, which won the 2010 AT&T Mobile Campus Challenge with a $10, 000 prize.

In addition to the feel-good story, this app is perfect for any young person considering attending an HBCU, or for alumni who want to keep up with their alma mater. 


Founder: Chinedu Echeruo

Purpose: HopStop gives those who live in metropolitan areas simple and easy directions on how to navigate by public transit, walking, taking a cab or biking.

Why You Need It: Developed by a Nigerian who’s a former Wall Street analyst, Time magazine included the app on its list of 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011. If you live in a major city or plan to visit one and will be using public transportation, HopStop is perfect to avoid getting lost.

Around the Way

Founder: Clearly Innovative

Purpose: Around the Way is an app that is meant to support Black-owned businesses. The app can locate 17,000 black-owned businesses in 50 states and will help users find the nearest in their area. The app can find businesses such as ATMs and banks, auto shops, bakery and cafés, beauty parlors and barbershops, clubs and lounges, laundry-dry cleaners, lodgings, restaurants and shopping.

Why You Need It:  Lots of people express the desire to support either small businesses or Black-owned businesses. Now with Around the Way, you can do both. Created by Clearly Innovative, a Black-owned mobile app firm based in Washington, D.C., the goal is to empower Black businesses by giving potential customers a point of purchase.

Bid Whist 

Founder: Jerod Motley

Purpose: Bid Whist is a popular card game that you can now play on your mobile device.

Why You Need It: If you like card games, this app’s for you. Now you can enjoy the game you’ve most likely played plenty of times in an app created by a Black developer.


Founder: Techturized Inc. , co-founders Candace Mitchell, Jessica Watson, Chanel Martin, Joy Boulamwini

Purpose: Myavana is a hair app for African-American women that encourages users to form communities based on hair textures and desired hairstyles. Women can upload hairstyles, share beauty tips about styling products and techniques, and salons. Also, users can follow desired hairstyles by “Girlfriending” other users who post images with that style. Each time a Girlfriend request is accepted, the community can follow that user’s hair journey and learn her hair secrets.

Why You Need It: Founded by Georgia Tech graduates who are all Black women and knowledgeable about the challenges faced when changing hairstyles. This app provides women with a sense of community and can offer tips on haircare.

Black History Milestones

Founder: Blue Sodium Corp. , (co-founders Nnanna Obuba and  Chidi Oparah).

Purpose: Black History Milestones is an app that presents a collection of important milestones in African-American history that aim to educate and inspire you.

Why You Need It: If you enjoy history, specifically Black history, you’ll like that this app will serve as a daily reminder of the rich history of African-Americans.

Iman Cosmetics 

Founder: Iman

Purpose: Renowned supermodel Iman is the founder and CEO of Iman Cosmetics, which are designed for African-American, Latina and Asian women. The Iman cosmetics app provides a “one-stop shop” for all your beauty needs using patented color-matching technology.

Why You Need It: This is perfect for a woman who loves makeup or has a hard time finding her shade. It’s easy to just upload your picture to the app and get customized Iman product recommendations that match your complexion and style.

Bill Organizer- Manage & Track Your Bills

Founder: Blue Sodium Corp. (co-founders Nnanna Obuba and Chidi Oparah)

Purpose: This app can organize, track and manage your bills, as well as notify you when bills are due. It can sync among devices and its other features include reminders when bills are due, monthly money reports, and a full history of all bills ever created.

Why You Need It: You can never go wrong with an app that helps you keep the bills paid, and it is great for people who like to actually see where their money is going.

A Song for Miles

Founder: Diverse Mobile, LLC

Purpose: Children learn the meaning of determination, kindness and love through soul music from the likes of singing sensations Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind & Fire. It nurtures a child’s inquisitive nature and love for music and sounds, while teaching the importance of good character.

Why You Need It: This is first storybook application that uses Black soul music artists who influenced the songs we listen to today. Developed by a Black-owned development company in Atlanta, A Song for Miles includes features such as digital links that pop off the screen, and interactive links to iTunes to purchase featured music. This is an ideal digital book for parents to read to children, especially if they enjoy music.

Ashti Meets Birdman Al

Founder: Diverse Mobile, LLC

Purpose: This storybook featuring music by jazz singer Al Jarreau is about a little girl named Ashti, who, while at the park with her mother, meets Birdman Al, an elderly man who is concerned about saving the jazz program at his former elementary school. His dilemma leads Ashti to her big idea. Children learn traits such as compassion, respect and responsibility while being exposed to jazz artists such as Billie Holliday, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway.

Why You Need It: Another digital storybook that exposes children to music while teaching them how to be good people will keep the little one in your life entertained not only through reading but also with classic music.