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How Percy Lavon Julian Became the First Black Chemist Inducted Into the National Academy of Sciences

You may not have heard of Percy Lavon Julian, but chances are you’ve used a product his groundbreaking research was responsible for. Julian was a twentieth-century research chemist whose work in chemical synthesis laid the groundwork for synthesizing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone used to treat those with hormone deficiencies. He also developed process improvements in the production of cortisone, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and corticosteroids used to treat various illnesses. Despite his substantial accomplishments, Julian faced considerable racism throughout his career. Born in 1899 to a postal worker, James Julian, and a schoolteacher, Elizabeth Adams in Montgomery, Alabama, the younger Julian and his five siblings were steered toward education at a young age. However, upon attending DePauw University in Indiana, Julian could not live in the dormitory at his own college due to segregation. In fact, it took days for him to find a place to eat. Nevertheless, he...

Feb 12, 2021

How Computer Scientist Lisa Gelobter Pioneered the Foundation For Internet Technologies

Black people in the field of tech have been way more integral than most may think. In fact, computer scientist Lisa Gelobter is one of the many modern Black tech innovators that pioneered a lot of the internet technology we use today. Lisa Gelobter — who is the current CEO and co-founder of tech-enabled platform tEQuitable — has over 25 years of experience in the tech industry. She’s the mastermind that cultivated the ascent of online video as well the brains behind software used in beloved consumer products such as Hulu and Shockwave — the 1995 essential technology that led to the development of interactive multimedia, web animation, and video games, according to her company’s website. Without Gelobter’s contribution to Shockwave, streaming and other digital privileges may not have existed. Additionally, she’s also the computer scientist who developed the animation used to create GIFs — a forever game-changer to social media apps that have integrated the multimedia practice into...

Feb 8, 2021

Earl Graves Sr., Black Enterprise Founder and Black Business Pioneer Dies at 85

Earl G. Graves, Sr. — founder and publisher of Black Enterprise (BE) — has passed away at 85-years-old. According to Black Enterprise, his son and BE CEO, Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. said his father transitioned “quietly” at 9:22 p.m. on April 6 after fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. The legendary entrepreneur is considered a Black business pioneer and champion of financial literacy. Through his lifetime Graves’ passion for uplifting and educating the Black community led him to establish Black Enterprise magazine in 1970 and steer it to become one of the leading voices in the world of business. With a $250,000 business loan Graves’ grew BE to become a reliable resource for African American entrepreneurs. He created a go-to platform that provided encouragement as well as sought after information on how to navigate business endeavors. In Graves’ best-selling book, “How To Succeed In Business Without Being White,” he details the foundation of his mission and why he created BE magazine. “The...

Apr 7, 2020