February is Black History Month, although in truth, 28 days is barely enough time to scratch the surface of the countless contributions made (and still being made) by black men and women — not least to the transportation and automotive industries. In fact, they have truly been a ‘driving‘ force! It’s mind-boggling to think that if inventions were treated like people, and were ignored or persecuted based on the colour of the person who made them, we would be a million miles away from the advanced technology that powers our world today (We all love Fred Flintstone, but do we really want to drive his car? Think of the blisters! Ouch!).
Every time you see a yellow at a stoplight (Garrett Morgan), use your turn signal or gear shift (Richard B. Spikes) you are benefiting from one of the invaluable inventions the black community has made and fought to bring into being. There is no doubt our streets are safer, cleaner and more enjoyable thanks to these brilliant minds and brave people who have overcome incredible adversity to help people of every colour with their innovation.
Just like these heroes have changed the world in a BIG way, you too have the power to create positive change (even if you can’t make tires of goldenrod weed like George Washington Carver!). By reading their history and knowing their names, you realize how important and relevant Black History is because it fuels so much of your life (and your vehicle) today. If more people took even the first small step toward equality and inclusivity by doing something as small as taking the time to read an article and becoming more aware of the truths and tales that have been hidden, we change our collective consciousness as a whole which is a powerful thing and the catalyst for real and lasting change that just like these inventions, will benefit everyone.