African in Science and Technology

African Americans have made and left their marks on American science. They have made great strides as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and inventors from the time of their enslavement to the present. It’s a story of success in the face often of an indifferent and hostile society. Moreover, African Americans have made significant contributions to various areas of science. African Americans have developed synthetic drugs for the treatment of chronic ailments, helped to invent laser devices for the treatment of cancer patients, and developed treatments for various diseases including leprosy, cancer, and syphilis.
The contribution of African Americans to science extends well before their period of Enslavement. Ivan Van Sertima brilliant work on Black in Science debunks the falsehood that science was brought to Africa by Europe. Van Sertima maintains that “African science does not have to apologize for its apparent paucity for enough has already been discovered in a very short time to make it quite clear that a great deal still remains to be brought to light.” Thus, he contends, that Africa and African civilizations made remarkable scientific progress. Surveying the scientific progress and contribution of Africa, Van Sertima notes:

 Africans in the Nile Valley cultivation of cereals an other crops 7000 years before any other civilization which led t the earliest development of agricultural science

 Africans in Tanzania produced carbon steel 1,200- 2,000 years ago.

 Kenyans built an astronomical observatory 300 years before Jesus

 Africans in East Africa had a calendar based on the rising of certain stars and constellations, one of the most accurate of the pre-Christian calendar

 Early use of mathematics in the Congo 8,000 years ago

 In Africa lie several great architectural wonders; one of these being Great Zimbabwe, the most immense construction site found in Africa outside of the pyramids of Egypt

 African engineering skills, mathematics, and nautical skills allow Africans to develop navigational science, which allow them to explore America before Columbus

 The development and use of herbal medicines by Nigerians to treat skin infections

 Several Western medicines were known Africans before the Europeans discovered them, including a for of aspirin

 Zulu peoples established a herbal pharmacy which included the medical use of 700 plants

 Caesarean operation performed by African surgeons in East Africa

 The astronomer-priest of the Dogon- Africans in West Africa- had for centuries a modern view of the solar system and the universe- the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, the spiral structure of the Milk Way Galaxy which our plants lies.

The intellectual and scientific curiosity of Africans led to significant developments in science and technology. The fact that their contribution was hidden or falsified is a lost for humanity or well as for African people.

Black in Science: Ancient and Modern, Volume 5, Issues 1-2: Ivan Van Sertima

They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America: Ivan Van Sertima

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