National Inventors Day: 19 Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

george-crum-1 black inventors biopic

In a world where innovation and progress are key drivers of success, black inventors have made their mark with countless contributions that have changed the way we live and work. And since they are consistently trying to NOT teach African American history, these are the stories filmmakers should include to tell when making films.

READ: Based on a True Story: 24 Movies About Black History That Aren’t About Slavery

From groundbreaking inventions like GPS, security systems and pacemakers to more practical and fun inventions like potato chips and super soakers, these Black inventors deserve to have their story told. And if you’re going to tell it, why not through our favorite medium: TV and film.

As we celebrate National Inventors Day, take a look at some of the most influential and impactful black inventors they should make a biopic on. And comment what other Black inventors you would love to learn more about through TV and/or film.


Garrett-Morgan-Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Garrett A. Morgan

Red Light, Green Light. They should do a biopic on Black inventor Garrett A. Morgan who invented the three-position traffic signal. He also created the gas mask which was used by fire and police departments, however many departs did not use the mask when they realised the device was created by a black man. However, with the outbreak of World War I the Safety mask was used to save thousands of soldier’s lives.



Garrett-Morgan-Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Marie Van Brittan Brown

We feel safer already just speaking on Brown who created the first home security system. It consisted of peepholes, cameras, monitors, a two-way microphone, and an alarm button that would immediately contact the police. Her groundbreaking invention laid the foundation for modern closed-circuit television systems used for surveillance, security, and crime prevention.



George Crum

Who doesn’t love potato chips? I mean there are thousands of flavors and versions to what Crum, a chef, originally created out of frustration. The potato chip’s origin story goes: Crum was working as a chef at a resort in New York when a customer sent his dish of french fries back to the kitchen, claiming that they weren’t good. In an irritated fit, Crum cut the potatoes as thinly as possible, fried them until they were burnt crisps, and threw a generous handful of salt on top. And as they say, the rest was history.



Lewis-Howard-Latimer_Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Lewis Latimer

Let there be light as Latimer contributed to the development of the light bulb, making improvements and was instrumental in the creation of the electric power industry. He also invented an improved railway car bathroom and an early air conditioning unit.


marian-croak-Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Marian Croak

Have Zoom and Skype calls changed your life, allowing you to work anywhere in the world? Well you have Marian Croak to thank for that. She initiated and furthered developed Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Her groundbreaking technology enables efficient audio and video communication over the internet and is used by popular companies like Skype, Zoom, and Vonage. She holds over 100 patents related to VoIP technologies and an additional one hundred patents pending. She also invented the “Text to give” technology that is often used to collect donations during natural disasters and other crises — as well as we’re sure was used during the height of the American Idol-voting phase.



Benjamin Banneker

Banneker was a self-taught mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor who helped design and lay out the city of Washington, D.C.


lonnie Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Lonnie G Johnson

Summertime fun was definitely increased due to the contribution of Johnson, the aerospace engineer who created the super soaker. While he’s contributed a lot to NASA, a biopic about how the squirt gun was created could definitely be a feel good movie.



Dr__Patricia_Bath Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

Patricia Bath

Dr. Bath, who was the first woman to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the United States, as well as is recognized as the first Black woman physician to receive a medical patent, discovered and invented a new device and technique for cataract surgery known as laserphaco. The Laserphaco Probe uses lasers to treat cataracts more precisely and less painfully. The invention has ben able to recover vision for people who had been blind or vision impaired for decades.



Gladys-West black inventors biopic

Gladys West

Can we do a Hidden Figures Sequel in this one it will tell of Gladys Bath, the mathematician who played a crucial role in the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS). She worked at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, where she was part of a team that created mathematical models of the Earth’s surface using satellite data. These models helped improve the accuracy of GPS, making it possible to pinpoint a location anywhere on the planet. Gladys West’s contributions to the development of GPS technology have had a profound impact on our daily lives, as GPS is now widely used for navigation, mapping, surveying, and much more.


carver Black Inventors They Should Do Biopics On

George Washington Carver

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Carver developed hundreds of products from peanuts and sweet potatoes, including a variety of dyes, soaps, and other goods


black inventors biopic

Mary and Mildred Davidson

Mary and her sister Mildred created patents that just make our lives, especially women’s lives easier. They created improvements to the sanitary belt, the moisture-resistant pocket for the belt. Mary, who was disabled from multiple sclerosis, invented the walker and the toilet-tissue holder.



CharlesDrewT black inventors biopic

Charles Drew

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and thanks to Dr. Charles Drew, that blood is available. In World War II, he played a major role in developing the first large-scale blood banks and blood plasma programs. He also invented the bloodmobiles, which to this day, these refrigerated trucks safely transport stored blood to the location where it is needed most.



Frederick McKinley Jones

Grocery stores all over have to give much thanks to McKinley Jones who invented the first mobile refrigeration system for transporting perishable goods



Madame C.J. Walker

We know there’s an inspired bio-series on her as she was America’s first self-made female millionaire through her line of hair care products for African Americans. But we need another one.


Annie Malone

If you’re going to retell the story of Madame C.J. Walker, you have to tell it of her teacher Annie Malone, who is more overlooked but is credited as THE first Black women to reach millionaire status. She developed haircare and beauty products, launched highly successful businesses, created beauty schools in which Walker was an alumni of the Annie Malone’s Poro training.


Elijah McCoy

An inventor who held over 50 patents and is credited with revolutionizing the lubrication of machinery. In 1872, Elijah invented an automatic lubricator that helped spread lubrication over a train engine while it was moving, decreasing the train delays. Before, the trains had to stop to manually apply lube to the engines, which meant travel delays.. His product was so successful that imitations flooded the market, leading train companies to ask for “the Real McCoy,” a phrase often used today.


Otis Boykin

He created a control unit for the heart pacemaker. He also held 26 patents and made several important electronic components in controlled missiles and IBM computers. He also created made a burglar-proof cash register.


Jan Matzeliger

All shoe companies can thank him as he invented a machine that revolutionized the shoe-making industry. He created the automatic shoe lasting machine, mechanizing the complex process of joining a shoe sole to its upper. After much improvement his invention could produce 700 pairs of shoes per day, a dramatic increase from the fifty pairs a skilled laster could make by hand. Shoe prices dropped by nearly half.


Granville T. Woods

Woods, an electrical engineer, invented several important devices for the railroad industry, including an improved steam boiler furnace as well as made important contributions to the development of the telegraph and telephone industries.

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