Black History Fun Fact Friday – Dr. Joseph N. Jackson

If you follow me on Instagram, then you are already familiar with this name. You may not, however, be familiar with his legacy. Dr. Jackson is many things: an inventor, businessman, scientist, and humanitarian. He’s the Co-founder of the Black Inventions Museum, Inc. and still invents today. But before we get into Joseph’s life, we must establish some additional facts.

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Lazy Bones Wire Remote

Jackson didn’t invent the remote itself. He improved on earlier inventions, making the TV remote what we know it to be today. Nikola Tesla created one of the world’s first wireless remote controls, which he unveiled at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1898. However, Tesla‘s boat remote was a flop. Another remote version was developed called “Lazy Bones,” and was connected to the television by a wire. The wireless remote control, called the “Flashmatic,”  was developed in 1955 by Eugene Polley.


Joseph was born in Harvey Jefferson Parish, Louisiana the fourth of eight children. At 17 he worked as an oil field tool maintenance help and police. He also went to school while he worked learning how to repair televisions and later owned his own repair shop for seven years.

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In 1961, Joseph received his GED and went to television repair school at night. He also owned and operated a radio and television service shop part-time in Fayetteville, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg where he was stationed.

I found it fun to discover that he was stationed in Fayetteville near Fort Bragg because it was the same place my husband was stationed when he was in the military as an engineer and equipment operator. Also, like hubby, Joseph was honorably discharged from the Army. Great men think alike 😉

After being honorably discharged in February 1968, Joseph re-enlisted in June 1970, working as an engineer equipment technician in Korea. Joseph graduated from the Army Recruiting and Career Counselor School in 1971 and transferred to California in 1973. He was an Army Recruiter and Career Counselor until his retirement in July 1978.

Before his retirement, Joseph also completed his degree in Business Administration at Columbia College and holds a Doctorate in Applied Science and Technology from Glendale University.

remote

As an inventor, Joseph invented what led to the precursor of the V-Chip, the technology that is used in the television industry to block out violent programs and the creation of the TV Remote Control. Joseph still invents today and has founded Protelcon, Inc., in 1993 to market and distribute, the TeleCommander, the first empowerment television accessory designed to give parents control over the viewing content of children.

Dr. Jackson has had numerous appearances on local television, and several articles published in the “Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, The Los Angeles Sentinel, The Wave” and other local newspapers. He also appeared in “Jet Magazine,” on January 19, 1978. He is a member of The Black Business Association of Los Angeles, The Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Advisory Board at Cal State University of Long Beach School of Engineering.

Dr. Jackson now serves as Patent Consultant to many potential inventors throughout the country.


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7 Black Communities That Prospered

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This post was last updated September, 2016.


I love entrepreneurship. I talk about it. I live it. I stand behind it. I encourage all people, especially black people to go on and do it. If you’ve ever had a desire to own your own business, I say to go for it. Don’t wait until the time is right. The time will never be right. Here are some black-owned communities that prospered to get your blood pumping:

Free Blacks of Israel Hill

This community is actually the inspiration for my novel in progress. In Renaissance: The Nora White Story, Nora is  descendent of the free blacks of Israel Hill. It is how her father Gideon inherited five acres of land and why, although Nora’s not very impressed, they’re doing well financially compared to those around them. Anywho, it was during my trip to New Mexico last year while reading Melvin Patrick Ely’s book Israel on The Appomattox, winner of  THE BANCROFT PRIZE, A New York Times Book Review, and Atlantic Monthly Editors’ Choice, that the first inklings of a story idea emerged.

Settled in Prince Edward County Virginia in 1810-1811 by ninety formerly enslaved persons who received freedom and 350 acres from Judith Randolph under the will of her husband, Richard Randolph, these Israelites and other free African Americans worked as farmers, craftspeople, and Appomattox River boatmen; some labored alongside whites for equal wages and the family of early settler Hercules White bought and sold real estate in Farmville. Israel Hill remained a vigorous black community into the twentieth century.

Rosewood

Rosewood, Florida is not mentioned very often except for the massacre that took place but it was before then a thriving community. The quite town prospered in 1870 when a railway depot was set up to transport the abundant red cedar, from which the town got its name, from Rosewood to a pencil factory in cedar key. By 1900 it was predominantly African American with a school, turpentine mill, baseball team, general store, and sugarcane mill. The community had two dozen plank two-story homes, some other small houses, as well as several small unoccupied plank structures.

Blackdom

There was much revelation during my New Mexico trip. It was also during that time I learned of Blackdom, another little known African American community about 18 miles southwest of Roswell New Mexico and was founded by Frank and Ella Boyer. Walking 2,000 miles on foot from Georgia to New Mexico, Boyer left his wife and children behind to cultivate land in the free territory of the West before sending for his family some three years later. At this time in history, Blacks had begun migrating from the south in great numbers in a movement called “The Great Exodus” following the Homestead Act of 1862, particularly in Kansas. Henry was a wagoner in the American-Mexican war when he first set eyes on the New Mexico land. The Artesian Water sprang in abundance as more and more blacks were invited and nourished on the land. Blackdom had its own school and post office.

Mound Bayou, MS

The first all-black town in Mississippi, Mound Bayou was founded by two former slaves, Isaiah Montgomery, and his cousin, Benjamin Green. In December of 1886, according to a Cleveland Mississippi article of July 1887,  Montgomery and Green bought 840 acres of land from the Louisville-New Orleans & Texas Railroad for $7 an acre. That acreage would serve as the site of Mound Bayou.

The men were successful, their town reaching a population of 4,000 people (99.6 percent black) by 1907. It had a train depot, a bank, a post office, numerous successful industries, a variety of stores and eateries, a newspaper, a telephone exchange and, eventually, a hospital. Mound Bayou was a thriving community.

Nicodemus Township in Graham County, Kansas

This town was founded in 1877 by a corporation of seven members, six of whom were Black along the south fork of the Solomon River. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, a former slave and Underground Railroad conductor helped to produce what was called the “Kansas Fever” of the late 1870s. Tens of thousands of African Americans left their homes headed for Singleton’s Cherokee County colony or Nicodemus, in Graham County, Kansas.

Promoted as the “Promised Land” throughout the south, founders hosted visits by potential settlers. By 1879 the town’s population stood at about 700.

The All-Black Community of Boley, Oklahoma

The all-black community of Boley OK was founded in 1904. With Railroad access and land, that helped, Boley became one of at least 20 Black towns in Oklahoma, to thrive. By 1907, it had at least 1,000 residents, and twice that many farmers settled outside of town. There were several businesses and an industrial school.

Black Wall-Street

Speaking of Oklahoma, I’m sure many of us are already familiar with Greenwood, a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” due to its financial success that mirrored Wall Street. During the oil boom of the 1910s, which gained the town such titles as “Oil Capital of the World”, the area of northeast Oklahoma around Tulsa flourished, including the Greenwood neighborhood. Home to several prominent Black businessmen, the neighborhood held many multimillionaires. Greenwood had grocery stores, clothing stores, barbershops, banks, hotels, cafes, movie theaters, two newspapers, and many contemporary homes. The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community.

Making Money in a World Addicted to FREE—What Do Writers DO?

Most excellent article. Worth the read for Authors and Aspiring Authors.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Might I suggest one of these... I think we need to renegotiate the terms…

One of the reasons I did such a detailed post about the pop culture and how it’s impacting artists (A Culture Addicted to FREE) is that for us to make any solid plan, we need to gain a good understanding of how things are being run and also grasp current consumer habits.

To fix any problem, we must be aware of what are called operational constraints.

Operational constraints are any real or potential roadblocks in the way of our goals. If you ever do a S.W.O.T. Analysis, which I strongly recommend, it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Any time we do business—which writing IS a business—we need an accurate picture of the terrain so we make wise business decisions and can plan ahead.

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The entire reason for me blogging about the impact streaming could…

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Black Entrepreneurship

“Yes, let me get a beef and cheese please.”

I stood in observation as my husband passed the cashier the card to complete the purchase. It was nice and warm out yesterday and the Little Caesar’s boomed with life. The bright orange and yellows of the colors blended perfectly with the chipper atmosphere that always accompanies warm weather. The young woman in front of us bounced around, smiling and joking as she completed the purchase, buzzing around the restaurant to finish other things, like what the young man behind her (slightly older, I round him off to be eighteen) was pulling up on the laptop. Yes, the laptop. Maybe it too wanted to take part in whatever it was going on up front, eager to be cradled in the arms of its owner. As my nose preoccupied itself with fresh dough and pizza sauce, I let my eyes roam the rest of the store. The warm ovens and counter-top blocked my direct view, however the bodies spilling over the sidelines and walking back and forth did not allow for much obscurity. Plus, the cooking area that I could not see wasn’t very concealed, resounding like the halls of a high school, the chit chatter of non business conversation floated into the air. An older woman sat waiting for the remake of an order as if she’d rather be watching the news, and a young man with three small boys came in behind us. The itty bitty’s could not have been more adorable, though they looked like three little men. Two of which sported white t-shirts and blue jeans, Jordan’s, light complexion, and a head full of what we used to call bee-bees (when the naps let you know it’s time for another haircut). These boys looked to be no older than a year and appeared to be twins. The other boy was darker in complexion and a couple years older with softer hair outlining a Mohawk. He was, by far, more outspoken if you will and decided it was time to climb on top the counter and see what all the commotion was about. He even decided he’ll stand up and had plans of jumping until his father caught wind of his body in his arms. Whew, that was close.

A couple more customers came in, two young women. The sun was out and so were they. I smiled at my husband who preoccupied his eyes with his cell phone. I’ll tease him about all the booty standing in his way later. Let’s just say there were enough thighs to go around. They were there to see if such and such had come into work today and discussed this with their friends, emptying conversation over the tops of counters and over the people’s heads.

As I sat back and watched this scene play out before me, feeling more and more like this was my kitchen and my children had invited their friends to dinner,  I began to wonder: “It would be nice if the same black people who worked this store could also own it”. They are so content right now, making the hourly wage that could support Jordan and cell phone habits. But, what if we taught young people to look at their 9-5s as potential businesses? Often we ask ourselves, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” But our interest never completely change as we transition into adulthood. They are just better developed but they never completely change. So instead of the ancient “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” Is it possible to start asking the question: “What do you enjoy doing?” And, “in what way can you turn that into a business idea?'” If you work part time at a restaurant, why not see what it takes to own one like it one day? If you like doing hair, why not set out to have your own shop and list of clientele? Housekeeping at a hospital? What does it take for you to become licensed and contract yourself out to hospital chains and apartment complexes?

I could go on and on about why I think Black Entrepreneurship is important, but it is best that we look at the facts together:

“Koreans own the beauty supplies and nail shops; Arabs and Mexicans own the fast food restaurants and liquor stores; Jews / Europeans own the banks, pawn shops, and other lending institutions, and east Indians own the gas stations. The so called African American owns little to no businesses in his own community.”

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African Americans are the biggest consumers and yet they own no businesses within their own communities. To be a consumer means you are not an investor, you are not an owner, you are instead a spender. Before the collapse of one of the most prominent African American communities in the nation, the dollar in the greenwood community of Northeast Tulsa Oklahoma rotated 36-100 times before it left the community. This means, the people in that community spent money at the local stores before going outside that community. For instance: Clothes bought at Elliot & Hooker’s clothing at 124 N. Greenwood could be fitted across the street at H.L. Byars tailor shop at 105 N Greenwood, and then cleaned around the corner at Hope Watson’s cleaners at 322 E. Archer. Today, the dollar leaves the black community in less than 15mins.

Black History Fun Fact Friday: Inventions

Welcome back to another episode of Black History Fun Fact Friday. I know I know, the sun will be setting soon but, better late than never right? 🙂 Tonight we’ll be looking at: 12 Black Inventors You May Not Know. I was surprised to find that many of them either died recently (2000-) or are still alive. Enjoy:

1. Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)

Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)
Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)

What He Invented: The Carbon Filament For The Light Bulb.
Why It’s Important: Latimer is one of the greatest inventors of all time. Latimer helped make the light bulb a common feature in households. In 1881, he received a patent for inventing a method of producing carbon filaments, which made the bulbs longer-lasting, more efficient and cheaper.
In 1876, he worked with Alexander Graham Bell to draft the drawings required for the patent of Bell’s telephone.

2. Patricia Bath (1942-Present)

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Patricia Bath

What She Invented: The Cataract Laserphaco Probe.
Why It’s Important: Her device used an innovative method of removing cataract lenses with a laser, which was more accurate than the drill-like instruments that were in common use at the time. The New York ophthalmologist’s invention, patented in 1988, helped save the eyesight of millions and even restored sight to people who had been blind for more than 30 years.

3. Otis Boykin (1920 -1982)

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Otis Boykin

What He Invented: The Artificial Heart Pacemaker Control Unit.
Why It’s Important: Although there were variations to the pacemaker before Boykin’s invention, the modern-day pacemaker would not exist without his work. Boykin,  also sought and received a patent for a wire precision resistor on June 16, 1959. This resistor would later be used in radios and televisions.

4. Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)

Marie Van Brittan Brown
Marie Van Brittan Brown

What She Invented: Closed-Circuit Television Security

Why Its Important: Marie Van Brittan Brown received a patent in 1969, making her the first person to develop a patent for closed- circuit television security. Brown’s system was designed with four peepholes and a motorized camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Her invention became the framework for the modern closed-circuit television system that is widely used for surveillance, crime prevention and traffic monitoring.

5. Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)

Granville T. Woods
Granville T. Woods

What He Invented: The Multiplex Telegraph.
Why It’s Important: The Multiplex Telegraph was a device that sent messages between train stations and moving trains. His work assured a safer and better public transportation system for the cities of the United States.

6. Mildred Kenner (1924-2004)

Mary Kenner
Mary Kenner

What She invented: The Sanitary Belt

Why Its Important: Mildred Kenner joined her sister Mary Davidson in patenting many practical inventions. Neither of the sisters had any technical education, but that didn’t stop them from inventing the Sanitary Belt in 1956. Three years later, Kenner invented the mosture-resistant pocket for the belt. While disabled from multiple sclerosis, Kenner went on to invent The Walker and the toilet-tissue holder.

7. Gerald A. Lawson (1940 -2011)

Gerald A. Lawson
Gerald A. Lawson

What He Invented: The Modern Home-Video Gaming Console.
Why It’s Important: Anyone who owns a Playstation, Wii or Xbox should know Lawson’s name. He created the first home video-game system that used interchangeable cartridges, offering gamers a chance to play a variety of games and giving video-game makers a way to earn profits by selling individual games, a business model that exists today.

8. Sarah Goode (1855-1905)

Sarah Goode's Invention
Sarah Goode’s Invention

What She invented: The Folding Cabinet Bed

Why Its Important: Sarah Goode was an entrepreneur and inventor, who was the first African-American woman to receive a U.S. patent. Goode invented a folding cabinet bed which provided people who lived in small spaces to utilize their space efficiently. When the bed was folded up, it looked like a desk. The desk was fully functional, with spaces for storage. She received a patent for it on July 14, 1885.

9. Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950)

Charles R. Drew
Charles R. Drew

What He Invented: The Blood Bank.
Why It’s Important: His research in the field of blood transfusions led to the development of improved techniques for blood storage. He applied his expert knowledge to the development of large-scale blood banks early in World War II. His invention allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.
He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African-Americans would be segregated.

10. Marc Hannah ( 1956-Present)

Marc Hannah
Marc Hannah

What He Invented: 3-D Graphics Technology Used in Films.
Why It’s Important: Anyone awed by the special effects in the films Jurassic Park, Terminator 2 and The Abyss should thank Chicago-native Marc Hannah. The computer scientist is one of the founders, in 1982, of the software firm Silicon Graphics (now SGI), where the special-effects genius developed 3-D graphics technology that would be used in many Hollywood movies.

11. Frederick M. Jones (1892-1961)

Frederick Jones
Frederick Jones

What He Invented: Mobile Refrigeration
Why It’s Important: His invention allowed the transportation of perishable foods such as produce and meats, which changed eating habits across the country. Thermo King, the company he co-founded, became a leading manufacturer of refrigerated transportation. Jones also developed an air-conditioning unit for military field hospitals and a refrigerator for military field kitchens. Jones was awarded over 60 patents during his lifetime.

12. Alice Parker (1865- death date unknown)

Alice Parker's Invention
Alice Parker’s Invention

What She Invented: Central Heating

Why Its Important: In 1919, Alice Parker of Morristown, New Jersey, invented a new and improved gas heating furnace that provided central heating.

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Thanks for stopping by Black History Fun Facts. Below is last week’s episode in case you missed it:

Week #8: Timbuktu