Chuck Berry, inventor of rock music

5 Things You Didn't Know Black People Made

Black people have invented and innovated a lot since being in the United States. Despite centuries of hardships, Black people have positively changed so many parts of our daily life. In celebration of black accomplishments, here’s 5 things you probably didn’t know Black people made. 

  • Some of America’s Biggest Music Genres–Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz 

Black people are credited with founding genres like Hip-Hop, R&B, and Gospel music. However it’s not as well known that Black people also created genres like Rock and Country music. The genres originated out of Southern Blues and Rock n’ Roll greats such as Rosetta Tharpe and Chuck Berry pioneered them. 

  • Barbecue, Mac & Cheese, Potato Chips & More!

 While barbecue has roots in both West African and Native American culture, enslaved Black people made the cooking style popular. Other figures like James Hemings learned French Cuisine and brought it back to America. He developed classics like mac and cheese. Funnily enough, Chef George Crum made potato chips ironically to spite a customer. 

  • Essentials Like The Home Security System, Traffic Lights, Refrigerators

Imagine a world with no traffic lights to guide cars. Or no alarm systems to protect your home from intruders. How about no refrigerators to keep your perishables in? We have black inventors Garrett Morgan, Marie Brown, and Frederick McKinley Jones to thank for making our lives safer.

  • The Concept of “Cool” 

When you think of someone cool, you probably think of someone who unbothered. This idea of “cool” is more similar to the West-African definition than the English one. Historian Robert Farris Thompson discovered our American idea of cool sounds a lot like the Liberian one–“to be nonchalant at the right moment…to do difficult tasks with an air of ease”.

  • Life-Saving Innovations–Blood Bank, Pacemaker, Blindness Prevention

Black professionals have made major contributions made to the medical field as well. Surgeon Charles Drew changed the game when he discovered a way to store blood. Otis Boykin made his mark when he improved the pacemaker so it could be implanted into patients. Patricia Bath changed people’s lives by pioneering blindness treatment and prevention.

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