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African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era$
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Jeannette E. Brown

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190615178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190615178.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021



(p.1) 1 Introduction
African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era

Jeannette E. Brown

Oxford University Press

When I wrote my first book African American Women Chemists I neglected to state that it was a historical book. I researched to find the first African American woman who had studied chemistry in college and worked in the field. The woman that I found was Josephine Silane Yates who studied chemistry at the Rhode Island Normal School in order to become a science teacher. She was hired by the Lincoln Institute in 1881 and later was, I believe, the first African American woman to become a professor and head a department of science. But then again there might be women who traveled out of the country to study because of racial prejudice in this country. The book ended with some women like myself who were hired as chemists in the industry before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, I decided to write another book about the current African American women chemists who, as I say, are hiding in plain sight. To do this, I again researched women by using the web or by asking questions of people I met at American Chemical Society ACS or National Organization for the Professional Advances of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) meetings. I asked women to tell me their life stories and allow me to take their oral history, which I recorded and which were transcribed thanks to the people at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, PA. Most of the stories of these women will be archived at the CHF in their oral history collection. The women who were chosen to be in this book are an amazing group of women. Most of them are in academia because it is easy to get in touch with professors since they publish their research on the web. Some have worked for the government in the national laboratories and a few have worked in industry. Some of these women grew up in the Jim Crow south where they went to segregated schools but were lucky because they were smart and had teachers and parents who wanted them to succeed despite everything they had to go through.

Keywords:   African American Women Chemists (Brown), Bayer Facts of Science Education Survey, Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), Diverse magazine, Lincoln Institute, minority women in STEM

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