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KD Celebrates Black History Month - Week 2

February 12, 2021

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC). Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014. She was appointed to the VRC in 2014 and since has been developing novel coronavirus vaccines. This included mRNA-1273, which was designed by Dr. Corbett’s team and is leading candidate vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19.


 
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Gwendolyn “Gwen” Sawyer Cherry (1923-1979)

 
“A champion for the rights of all people and a voice of reason and concern.” – Quote from U.S. Senator Bob Graham at Gwen Cherry’s eulogy reading.
 
Gwen Cherry was the first Black woman to attend the University of Miami School of Law, she was also the first black woman to practice law in Miami-Dade County, Florida. She was elected as a state representative and became the first black woman to serve as a legislator for the State of Florida. She served until 1979 and introduced the Equal Rights Amendment, Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday, amongst many other legislations.



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Bass Reeves (1838-1910)

“I just might take a liking to being law. It's kind of fun.”
 
Bass Reeves was an American law enforcement officer, and the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. Reeves had a long career as an officer and he had over 3,000 arrests of dangerous criminals on his record. Bass Reeves worked for 32 years as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory where he developed superior detective skills and was never wounded despite having his hat and belt shot off on different occasions. Bass was said to be the most feared Deputy U.S. Marshal in the Indian Country. He was also the inspiration behind the character of the Lone Ranger. In 2013 Reeves was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame.

 


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Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)

 
“You’ve never lived till you’ve flown.”
 
Bessie Coleman was an American aviator the first African-American woman and first Native-American to hold a pilot license. Bessie received her pilot license from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in June of 1921 and became the first black person to earn an international pilot’s license. Bessie developed an interest in flying and decided to travel to France to go to flight school because there were no opportunities in the United States for African Americans, women, or Native Americans. Bessie soon became notorious for participating in very dangerous air shows in the United States. Bessie was known as Queen Bess and Brave Bessie, she hoped to one day open a school for African-American fliers, but sadly passed away in a plane crash. She was an inspiration to many early pilots in the African-American and Native-American communities.



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Onesimus (birth and death date unknown)

 
There is very little information about the birth of Onesimus, but it is assumed that he was born in African in the late 17th century before he landed in Boston. Onesimus was a gift that was given to Cotton Mather from his congregation. Onesimus told Mather about a centuries old practice of extracting the material from an infected person and scratching into the skin of an uninfected person, which could purposely introduce smallpox to the healthy individual making them immune. This was considered extremely dangerous at the time, but it was tested when the smallpox epidemic hit Boston and over 200 people were immunized. This traditional African practice was used to immunize American soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

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Dr. Charles Drew (1904-1950)
 
Charles Drew was a African-American surgeon and medical researcher who pioneered and developed improved techniques for storing blood plasma for transfusion. Dr. Drew developed and organized the first large-scale blood bank in the United States early in World War II, which helped saved thousands of lives. Drew protested against the racial segregation in the donation of blood, based on the lack of scientific substance. He later resigned after a ruling that the blood of African-Americans would be segregated.


 
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Lisa Gelobter
Founding formulator of early GIF images.



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Alexander Miles
Invented the automatic opening and closing elevator doors.



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Garrett A. Morgan
Invented the three-position traffic signal and a smoke hood (precursor to the gas mask).



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Frederick Jones
Invented portable air-cooling units. Portable cooling units he designed were vital during World War II to preserve blood, medicine, and food for use at army hospitals.



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John Standard
Invented the refrigerator.



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Miami, FL 33156

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