Worthy as Heroes


George Edward Alcorn

In 1967, George Edward Alcorn earned a Ph.D. in Atomic and Molecular Physics from Howard University. Between 1965-67 Alcorn conducted research on negative ion formation under a NASA-sponsored grant. Dr. George Edward Alcorn has eight patents to his credit in the United States and Europe for semiconductor technology. One of those patents is on a method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer. His research includes: adaptation of chemical ionization mass spectrometers for the detection of amino acids and development of experimental methods for the detection of planetary life elsewhere within our solar system; classified research for the United States military and CIA concerning missile reentry and defense; design and construction of space instrumentation, atmospheric contaminant sensors, magnetic mass spectrometers, mass analyzers; and development of new concepts of magnet design, and the invention of a new type of x-ray.

Benjamin Banneker


Benjamin Banneker was a self-educated scientist, astronomer, inventor, writer, and antislavery journalist. He was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science. On November 9 1731, Benjamin Banneker was born in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. He was the descendant of slaves, born a freeman, with no time on his hands to whine. Instead, he had a dream and pursued it. To success. During this time law dictated if your mother was a slave when you were born, you were a slave. If she was a freewoman, you were born free. Benjamin’s mother, Mary Banneker, was born free. Benjamin’s father Rodger was a former slave who had bought his own freedom before marrying Mary.

Mr. Banneker was educated by Quakers, however, he was primarily self-taught. He first achieved national acclaim for his scientific work in the 1791 survey of the Federal Territory. In 1753, he built one of the first watches made in America, a wooden pocket watch. Twenty years later, Banneker began making astronomical calculations that enabled him to successfully forecast a 1789 solar eclipse well in advance of the event, contradicting predictions by better-known mathematicians and astronomers. Mr. Banneker’s mechanical and mathematical abilities impressed President Thomas Jefferson who appointed him to the team responsible for surveying out today’s Washington D.C.

Janet Emerson Bashen


Janet Emerson Bashen

In January 2006, Janet Emerson Bashen became the first African- American woman to hold a patent for a software invention. The patented software, LinkLine, is a web-based application for EEO claims intake and tracking, claims management, document management and numerous reports. Ms. Bashen will soon release the federal sector counterpart and the web-based AAPSoft for building Affirmative Action Plans.

Ms. Bashen is the founder, President and CEO of Bashen Corporation, a leading human resources consulting firm that pioneered end-to-end EEO compliance administration services. Established in September 1994, Janet Bashen founded her business from home with no money, one client and a commitment to succeed. Janet Emerson Bashen and Bashen Corporation are recognized nationally for their business achievements.

In May, 2000, Ms. Bashen testified before Congress concerning the effect of the FTC opinion letter on third party discrimination investigations. Janet Bashen, along with Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, were key figures in the change in legislation.

Catherine L. Bowie

Black WAC Joined to Be What She Wanted to Be

WASHINGTON — Catherine L. Bowie watched her three brothers go off to war in 1942 and decided a year later to get into the fight, too. Later, when her brothers went home, she liked the Women’s Army Corps and stayed. Asked about her military career of more than 24 years, the 86-year-old Bowie quipped, “Well, I can’t remember much today. Yesterday, I knew everything.”

The first thing she recalled was the Army sending her to cook and baker school. “I changed their minds,” she said. “They asked me, ‘Why don’t you want to cook?’ I told them, ‘Because I have an associate’s degree, and I don’t intend to cook for the rest of my military career.'” Bowie knew exactly what she wanted to be, and that meant focusing on administrative and recruiting assignments throughout her career. The times when the Army wanted her to be a drill sergeant, she said, she volunteered for duty in Germany, Korea or Okinawa or for a recruiting job. An administrative specialist, Bowie worked in re-enlistment and separations on Okinawa and other administrative jobs in Germany and Korea. The recruit training environment left her cold, she said, but recruiting ironically struck her fancy. And she loved recruiting duty in Chicago.

WASHINGTON — When the Army established the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942, only 40 African American women were allowed to join. They were dubbed the “10 Percenters” because their numbers in the Army matched the percentage of African Americans in the national population.

Forty African American women and 400 white women were the first to train at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Black enlisted women served in segregated units, participated in segregated training, lived in separate quarters, ate at separate tables in mess halls and used segregated recreation facilities. African American women officers trained in integrated units, but lived under the same kind of segregated conditions as the enlisted black women.

Specialist and technical training schools were integrated in 1943. During WWII, 6,520 black women served in what became the Women’s Army Corps. African American women were barred from the Navy service until Oct. 19, 1944; of the more than 80,000 women in Navy blue during World War II, only 72 were African Americans.  Only five African American women signed up when the Coast Guard opened its auxiliary to blacks on Oct. 20, 1944.

Following World War II, racial and gender discrimination and segregation persisted in the military. By June 1948, only 125 African American women served in the WAC, four officers and 121 enlisted. That’s how things were until President Truman integrated the armed forces by signing Executive Order #9981 on July 26, 1948. WACs began integrated training in April 1950.

Pittsburg Tribune Review, April 25, 2010

Children’s Hospital recognizes donors’ life-saving sacrifices

Anthony Sangregorio gave his son life twice in the last two years. Sangregorio, a father of four from Ebensburg, Cambria County, donated part of his liver to his 2-year-old son, Marcus, in October. The transplant saved the child’s life. “I don’t feel as though I’m a hero,” Sangregorio said. “I feel I did what I was supposed to do, which is to keep my family intact and out of harm’s way.”Sangregorio was one of about 50 living donors honored at a Saturday celebration at Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville.

Living donor transplantation allows an individual to donate one of his or her two healthy kidneys to someone whose kidneys have failed. Living donor liver transplants involve removing a portion of a healthy donor’s liver to help someone on the waiting list. The liver is the only internal human organ that regenerates, so the donor’s liver tissue will grow back just as that donated grows and adjusts to the body weight of the recipient. More than 107,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

Edward Green of Duquesne donated one of his kidneys last May to his sister, Donisha Smith Green, 25, just two weeks after another donor backed out. Green, 29, an apprentice at Steam Fitters Local 449, said it was one of the most important things he’s ever done in his life. “It’s a great thing to give something to someone else to keep them around a little longer,” he said.

In a 2005 study done at Johns Hopkins Hospital and others, it was determined that of all nationalities in America, the African-American community has the greatest increase in the need for organ donors and the least number of donors available. As a result of the inherent tissue typing sensitivity with African-Americans, they invariably wait longer on organ donor lists than do other nationalities.

If this has anything to do with race, it is within the black community who, for whatever reason, lag behind all other nationalities – except Asian – in organ donations. Given the increase in street drug use and the subsequent detrimental effects on the body and the need for the donated organs to be healthy and uncontaminated by drugs or disease – including liver disease.

The need is tremendous for the African -American communities to get involved in both stopping the uncontrolled increase in drugs and drug related diseases and promoting the need for healthy organ donors – both living and deceased. As a result of the inherient typing sensitivity surrounding organ transplants, the ability to successfully transplant organs from other nationalities into a black recipient is an extreme health issue.

Only about 1 in 200 cases of inter-racial donations involving an African-American is successful for any length of time. Get involved in saving your lives and get educated on the health issues inherent to African-Americans.

stop blaming everything on the planet on racism caused by whites!

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