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Those Who Forget Their History Are Doomed To Repeat It Print E-mail
Written by Roger Madison Jr.   
Friday, 04 February 2011
ImageThis saying appears in many different forms, but the earliest version is probably that of the poet and philosopher George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-  Life of Reason, 1905

As we begin our annual reflection on Black History in the USA, I find the original version of this saying to be most informative.  There is something crippling about those who "cannot remember their past." The purpose for remembering is to build a better future based upon our memories of our past.  Those who cannot remember have no foundation. They become tossed about by every wind of change. 

What this suggests to me is that We must never forget, but also, we must actively remember our past. 

Our history is only meaningful if it is important to us.  There are some who feel that this reflection relegates Black History to one month.  Their argument is that we should celebrate Black History every day.  They are correct -- if their admonition is directed to Black people.

ImageBlack History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The goal of Black History Week was to educate the American people about African-Americans' cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. So, while the nation pauses to reflect for a month, we must actively focus on the importance of our history every day.

  • Black people must remember our ancient past and achievements in our African homeland.
  • Black people must remember those who sacrificed their lives to gain our freedom from slavery in this country.
  • Black people must remember early educators, community activists, entrepreneurs, and political leaders who helped shape the early life of the freed Black masses.
  • Black people must remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century, and its importance to our progress.
  • Black people must never forget the importance of the struggle for equality.  We must continually strive for excellence and equal opportunity in the global arena.

So this month should serve to renew our focus on our history as prologue to a future of continuing progress.  We must use the foundation of our rich history to fuel our efforts toward a better future for the descendents of Africa all over the world.



Roger Madison

Founder and CEO

iZania, LLC

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written by Keith C Holmes , February 09, 2011
A research project grows in Brooklyn....

Brooklyn, NY. Jan. 11th - Global Black Inventor Research Projects, Inc., (GBIRP), whose roots grow in Brooklyn and whose branches now span six continents, provides a canopy under which students of all ages can expand their perspectives on African creativity and spark their inventive genius. Keith C. Holmes, researcher and founder, has spent over twenty years researching inventors of color. In July, 2008, he, published his first book, Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success. This book highlights the innovative accomplishments of black men and women from six continents and over seventy countries.

Mr. Holmes recognizes the pioneering work of Henry E. Baker, an African American who attended the United States Naval Academy and worked as a copyist with the United States Patent Office in the early twentieth century. Mr. Baker?s interest and research opened the door to the idea that men and women of color throughout the world had filed for patents. Although western countries have a system of filing patents not all inventions are registered in patent offices. In fact every society and civilization has developed its own ideas and inventions with or without patents. Mr. Baker sent over twenty five hundred letters to lawyers around the United States, to determine if people of color had filed patents. Baker received a number of responses from people who scoffed at and ridiculed the idea of black men and women inventing anything. However, undaunted and undeterred, Baker continued his inquiries and did receive a number of letters that documented over one thousand inventions by black men and women from Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the United States.

In 1988, still engaged in researching this subject, Mr. Holmes attended the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn, New York where a book titled "Black Inventors in America" by Burt McKinley caught his eye. After purchasing, skimming and eventually reading the book, he was so fascinated and enlightened by its content that he considered buying additional copies and selling them. His mentor and friend, Dr. Ra Un Nefer Amen, encouraged him to write a book about black inventors. Initially, he laughed at the idea, but, still intrigued by ?Black Inventors in America," he eventually took his mentor?s advice and embarked on a research journey that took over twenty years to complete. His research proved that the invention bug did not only burrow into the African-American imagination but also into that of Africans in the Diaspora.

Keith Holmes? research has now identified over fifteen thousand inventions and trademarks attributed to inventors of color, spanning a period from 1769 - 2008. His first publication "Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success" can be purchased from a number of book distributors and bookstores, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

A research project does indeed grow in Brooklyn !

Our publication was selected to be a part of the National African American Read-In, sponsored by the Black Caucus of the NCTE, for February, 2011.

Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success is currently listed on: 
www.nla.gov.au, www.collectionscanada.ca, www.copac.ac.uk, www.loc.gov, www.nielsenbookdata.co.uk,  www.sabinet.co.za and www.worldcat.org.  

For more information about purchasing, lectures and book signings, contact:
Global Black Inventor Research Projects, Inc.,

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