Liberty Writers Africa

Meet The Black Man Who Invented the Traffic Light and The Gas Mask

Humanity owes the Black race a lot of apologies for stealing her achievements and denying her ingenuity. As we dig more and more into Black history, we are surprised to find that the Black race has contributed immensely to the progress of humanity. But what is more shocking is the fact that the white supremacists of this world have claimed these inventions and denied their Black originators.

Children all over Africa grow up, learning through the British, French, and other curriculums. These various curriculums do nothing to teach Black children their true history. Why would they? They focus on teaching African children lies and half-truths about themselves – teachings that glorify the white man and makes him look like a God over Black people.

Garett Augustus Morgan was an outstanding African-American inventor of all times. He is the origin of urban traffic revolution. He invented the traffic signs which is today still used to ensure safety on our roads. He invented the gas mask with which we can protect ourselves from toxic gases, and he also invented the hair relaxer, among many other things.

Garett Morgan | Source: Biography.com

Garett was one of seven children of a poor family, from Kentucky, USA. A self-educated man who didn’t go beyond elementary school, he moved to Cleveland in 1895, where he was hired as a sewing machine technician. In 1907, motivated by his job, he invented the better sewing machine, and later on, invented the hair relaxer.

In 1914, Garrett designed the modern gas mask which protects users from inhaling toxic gases but at the same time does not prevent respiration. Due to racism, selling his gas mask to the firefighter’s companies proved impossible, so he just made samples for himself.

In 1916, there was an explosion in a hydraulic station tunnel which was 75 meters below the Erie Lake, 32 people were trapped in the tunnel and fortunately, Garrett heard about it. Alongside with his brother Franck, they put on their gas mask and headed for the location of the incident, carried all 32 persons out of the tunnel on their back and the became heroes, as the news spread like wide fire. By reason of this event, his invention had proven its efficacy. His mask was first utilized by firemen and soldiers during World War 1.

Garrett would later invent the traffic sign system in 1923 after witnessing a ghastly accident between the automobile, a cabriolet and a horse. The horse would later be killed because it was severely injured, the driver of the automobile collapsed, and two people were extracted from cabriolet. The traffic signal system has today advanced and is now being used all over the world.

Garett was not just an inventor but also one who had a heart for his roots. He was a member of the Black lobby, the NAACP, and in 1920, co-created an African-American journal called Cleveland Call. He urged Black people to buy shares from his company and was honored by the city of Cleveland which gave him a gold medal set with diamonds. Garett passed on July 27th, 1963.

The story of men such as Garett should form the foundation of Black consciousness and emancipation from the gross dependency on the white race. Our people have been made to believe that no good thing can come out of Africa and Black people in general, but that is a big lie.

It has been the intentions of our detractors to discredit the Black race – this reinforces white supremacy and the need for Europeans and white foreigners to continue to interfere with the affairs of African governance, political, social, religious and circular life.

We must do our best to teach our people these achievements. Because if these Black men could achieve such feet at an era where there was no internet and computers, then imagine what we can achieve in this time and era.

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