List of African-American women in STEM fields

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The following is a list of notable African-American women who have made contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These African Women have added pressure compared to their counterparts and often feel that they have to prove their worth and pave the way for future people like them to also get work. As well, these women struggled with the opportunity to advance in status as because of discrimination, many women could not go on work trips since most of the hotels they would have stayed at were white only.[citation needed]

A[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Rediet Abebe computer scientist 1991- first woman computer scientist to be appointed to the Harvard Society of Fellows
Lilia Ann Abron chemical engineering, environmental engineering 1945- first African-American woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering
Claudia Alexander.jpg Claudia Alexander geophysics, planetary science 1959-2015 Project manager for NASA's Galileo mission and Rosetta mission
Gloria Long Anderson chemistry 1938-
Treena Livingston Arinzeh biomedical engineering 1970-
Estella Atekwana Biogeophysics; tectonphysics 1961- Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware
Balanda Atis cosmetic science cosmetic chemist at L'Oréal USA
Donna Auguste businesswoman, computer scientist 1958-
DrWandaMAustin.jpg Wanda Austin aerospace engineering 1954- Former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation

B[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
June Bacon-Bercey.png June Bacon-Bercey meteorology 1932- Believed to be the first African-American woman to gain a degree in meteorology and confirmed to be the first African-American woman to be a televised meteorologist.
Erica Baker.jpg Erica Baker software engineer 2006- Engineer and engineering manager in the San Francisco Bay Area, known for her outspoken support of diversity and inclusion.
Alicia Augusta Ball.jpg Alice Augusta Ball chemistry 1892-1916 first woman and African-American to receive a master's degree from the University of Hawaii
Patriciabath.jpg Patricia Bath ophthalmologist, inventor 1942-2019 pioneered laser surgery to remove cataracts
Regina Benjamin official portrait.jpg Regina Benjamin physician 1956- 18th Surgeon General of the United States
Angela Benton internet entrepreneur 1981-
Matilene Berryman oceanographer 1920-2003
Sarah Boone inventor 1832-1904
Sylvia D. Trimble Bozeman mathematician 1947-
Carolyn Brooks microbiologist 1947-
Dorothy Lavinia Brown.jpg Dorothy Lavinia Brown surgeon 1919-2004 First African American female appointed to a general surgery residency in the racially segregated South. [1]
Marjorie Lee Brown mathematician 1914-1979
Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code @ SXSW 2016.jpg Kimberly Bryant electrical engineer
Joy Buolamwini - Wikimania 2018 01.jpg Joy Buolamwini computer scientist
Ursula-Burns.jpg Ursula Burns engineer, CEO 1958-

C[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Alexa-Canady.jpg Alexa Canady neuroscience 1950-
Carolyn Cannon-Alfred pharmacologist 1934-
Majora-Carter-headshot.png Majora Carter developer 1966-
Gloria Chisum experimental psychologist 1930-
Mamie Phipps Clark social psychologist 1917-1983 Researched self-esteem and self-concept in African-American children, which was used in 1954 civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas [2]
May Edward Chinn 1917.jpg May Edward Chinn physician 1896-1980
YvonneYoungClark.jpg Yvonne Clark engineer 1929-
Jewel Plummer Cobb biologist 1924-2017
Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.jpg Johnnetta Cole anthropologist, educator and museum director 1936- Spelman College's seventh president and the first Black woman to lead the institution [3]
Rebecca J Cole.jpeg Rebecca Cole physician 1846-1922 Second African-American woman physician
Bessie Coleman, First African American Pilot - GPN-2004-00027.jpg Bessie Coleman aviator 1896–1926 first African American and Native American woman to hold a pilot license [2]
Betty Collette veterinary pathologist 1930-2017
Margaret S. Collins zoologist 1922-1996
Carol Blanche Cotton psychologist 1904-?
Patricia S Cowings NASA Publications Photo.jpg Patricia S. Cowings aerospace psychophysiologist 1948- 'first African American woman scientist to be trained as an astronaut by NASA
Rebecca Lee Crumpler physician 1831–1895 first African-American woman to become a physician in the United States

D[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Marie Maynard Daly.jpg Marie Maynard Daly biochemist 1921–2003 first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry
Theda Daniels-Race nanoengineering, electronic engineering Michael B. Voorhies Distinguished Professor in the Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Louisiana State University, 19th African American woman to obtain a PhD in a physics-related field in the US [4]
Christine Darden.jpg Christine Darden aerospace engineer 1942- Researcher at NASA where she was a pioneer in the design of supersonic aircraft [2]
Geraldine Claudette Darden mathematician 1936-
Mary Deconge mathematician 1933-
Giovonnae Dennis electrical engineer
Helen Octavia Dickens physician 1909–2001
Georgia Mae Dunston Human Geneticist 1944- Professor at Howard University and founder of the National Human Genome Center

E[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Annie Easley.jpg Annie Easley mathematician and rocket scientist 1933–2011
Cecile H. Edwards nutritionist 1926–2005
Joycelyn Elders official photo portrait.jpg Joycelyn Elders pediatrician 1933- Surgeon General of the United States
Lola Eniola-Adefeso in Findings Magazine 01.png Lola Eniola-Adefeso chemical engineer
Anna Epps microbiologist 1930-
Jeanette J. Epps.jpg Jeanette J. Epps astronaut and aerospace engineer 1970-
Aprille Ericsson.jpg Aprille Ericsson-Jackson aerospace engineer 1963-
Brittney Exline software engineer [5]
Cassandra Extavour (38815546055).png Cassandra Extavour evolutionary biologist Director of EDEN, a national research collaborative encouraging use of non- Drosophila model organisms [6]

F[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Etta Zuber Falconer mathematician 1933-2002
Angella D. Ferguson pediatrician 1925- researcher of sickle cell disease
Evefields.jpg Evelyn J. Fields oceanographer 1949-
Dr. Njema Frazier at Department of Energy.jpg Njema Frazier nuclear physicist
A. Oveta Fuller virologist 1955-

G[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 - day 3 (30671211838).jpg Timnit Gebru computer scientist
Gloria Ford Gilmer mathematician
Sarah E. Goode inventor 1855–1905
Evelyn Boyd Granville mathematician, computer science 1924-
Bettye Washington Greene at work.tif Bettye Washington Greene chemist 1935- 1995
Eliza Ann Grier.jpg Eliza Ann Grier physician 1864–1902
Margaret Grigsby physician
Bessie Blount Griffin physical therapist, inventor 1914–2009

H[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Sossina M. Haile materials scientist 1966-
Betty Harris chemist 1940-
Paula T. Hammond Chemical Engineer 1963- Koch Professor of Engineering, Department Head of Chemical Engineering, Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research, MIT
Mary Styles Harris geneticist 1949-
Alma Levant Hayden (cropped).jpg Alma Levant Hayden chemist 1927-1967
Haynes euphemia.jpg Euphemia Lofton Haynes mathematician 1890-1980 First African-American woman to earn a PhD in Mathematics
Ruby Puryear Hearn biophysicist 1940-
Gloria Conyers Hewitt mathematician 1935-
Mary Elliott Hill chemist 1907-1969
Stephanie Hill engineer [7][8]
Jane Hinton.jpg Jane Hinton veterinarian 1919-2003
Esther A. H. Hopkins chemist 1926- [9]
Ruth Winifred Howard psychologist 1900-1997
Fern Hunt.jpg Fern Hunt mathematician 1948-
Yasmin Hurd.jpg Yasmin Hurd neuroscientist

I[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Jedidah Isler astrophysicist
Nia Imara astrophysicist and artist

J[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Deborah J. Jackson aeronautical engineer
Fatimah Jackson biological anthropologist
Shirley Ann Jackson World Economic Forum 2010.jpg Shirley Ann Jackson physicist 1946- President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Chavonda Jacobs-Young - USDA Agricultural Research Service Administrator.jpg Chavonda Jacobs-Young paper scientist
Mae Carol Jemison.jpg Mae Jemison astronaut and physician 1956- first African American woman to travel in space [10]
Allene Johnson chemist 1933– [11]
Ashanti Johnson.jpg Ashanti Johnson geochemist and oceanographer
Katherine Johnson in 2008.jpg Katherine Johnson mathematician 1918-2020 calculated the trajectories for many NASA missions, including Apollo 11
Tracy L. Johnson molecular and cell biologist
Anna R Johnson.jpg Anna Johnson Julian sociologist 1903-1994
Lynda Marie Jordan biochemist 1956– [12]

K[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Sinah Estelle Kelley chemist 1916-1982 worked on mass production of penicillin [13]
Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner 1912-2006 [14]
Angie Turner King chemist and mathematician 1905–2004 [15]
Reatha King 2009.jpg Reatha King chemistry 1938-
Ruth G. King Educational psychologist 1933- First woman president of the Association of Black Psychologists [16]

L[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Margaret-Morgan-Lawrence.jpg Margaret Morgan Lawrence pediatric psychiatrist 1914–2019 researched negative psychological effects of segregation on Black children [17]
Katheryn Emanuel Lawson chemist 1926–2008 [18]
Lillian Burwell Lewis zoolologist
Chekesha Liddell material science and engineering
Ruth Smith Lloyd anatomist 1917-1995
Farah Lubin Neuroscientist
Irene-D-Long-NASA.png Irene Long aerospace medicine 1951-
Beebe Steven Lynk.jpg Beebe Steven Lynk chemist 1872– [19]

M[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Shirley Malcom.jpg Shirley M. Malcom science administrator 1946- head of education and human resources programs at AAAS [20]
Harriet Marble pharmacist 1885-1966 early African-American woman pharmacist
Cora Bagley Marrett.jpg Cora Bagley Marrett sociologist, science administrator 1942- [21]
Pamela McCauley-Bush [22][23]
Dorothy McClendon microbiologist 1924- [24]
Linda C. Meade-Tollin biochemist 1944– [25]
Juanita Lynn Merchant.jpg Juanita Merchant physiologist
Shireen Mitchell
Ruth Ella Moore.jpg Ruth Ella Moore bacteriology 1903–1994 first African-American woman with PhD in a natural science, department head at Howard University
Tanya Moore [26]
Willie Hobbs Moore engineering, physics 1934–1994 first African American woman to receive a PhD in physics [27]

N[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Dr. Shelia Nash-Stevenson.png Shelia Nash-Stevenson Physicist, integration engineer integration engineer for the Planetary Programs Missions Office at Marshall Space Flight Center
Ann T. Nelms
Lyda D. Newman Inventor

O[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Joan Murrell Owens marine biologist 1933- expert on button corals [28]

P[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Carolyn Beatrice Parker.jpg Carolyn Parker mathematician, physicist 1917–1966 worked on the Dayton Project, the plutonium research and development arm of the Manhattan Project

first African-American woman known to have gained a postgraduate degree in physics

Jennie Patrick chemical engineering 1949– [29]
Hattie Scott Peterson civil engineer 1913–1993 believed to be the first African-American woman to gain a bachelor's degree in civil engineering
Clarice Phelps nuclear chemist first African-American woman to help discover a chemical element [30]
Vivian-Pinn-2010.jpg Vivian W. Pinn pathologist 1941- Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [31]
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, cosmologist, writer 1982 - possibly first African-American woman to hold a faculty position in theoretical cosmology
Duck-Research-Laboratory.jpg Jessie Isabelle Price veterinary microbiologist 1930-2015 isolated and reproduced the cause of the most common life-threatening disease in duck farming in the 1950s [32]
Talking About the Colony (5196965089).jpg Sian Proctor African American explorer, scientist, STEM communicator, and aspiring astronaut geology, sustainability and planetary science professor
Johnnie Hines Watts Prothro chemist 1922–2009 food chemistry and nutrition [33]

Q[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
LynnaeQuick.jpg Lynnae Quick planetary scientist, planetary geophysicist 1984 - Ocean worlds Planetary Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; fifth African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in planetary science; first African American staff scientist in the history of the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, where she worked from 2017 to 2019; Asteroid 2001 SV 291 was renamed Asteroid 37349 Lynnaequick in honor of her work modeling cryovolcanic eruptions and faculae formation on Ceres. First African American to receive the American Astronomical Society's Harold C. Urey Prize which is the highest honor for young planetary scientists and recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of planetary science by an early career researcher.

R[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Mary Logan Reddick neuroembryologist, biologist 1914 - 1966 possibly the first African-American woman scientist to receive a fellowship to study abroad, and the first female biology instructor at Morehouse College
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0708-0014-004, Oberstes Gericht, Globke-Prozess, Publikum.jpg Eslanda Goode Robeson chemist 1896–1965 [34]
Gladys W. Royal chemist 1926–2002 [35]

S[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Antoinette Rodez Schiesler chemist, director of research at Villanova University 1934 - 1996
Lyndsey Scott in flowers (cropped).jpg Lyndsey Scott computer programmer 1984-
Alberta Jones Seaton embryologist, biologist 1924-2014 One of the first African-American women awarded a doctorate in zoology, in Belgium in 1949.
Nashlie Sephus Artificial intelligence engineer AI engineer, CTO of startup Partpic (acquired by Amazon) PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019 Ada Lovelace Award
Cheryl-Shavers.jpg Cheryl L. Shavers semiconductor engineering and management 1953- first African-American Undersecretary of Commerce for Science and Technology [36]
Mabel Keaton Staupers Nursing administrator 1890 - 1989 Instrumental in implementing the desegregation of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during WWII [37]
Susan McKinney Steward full.jpg Susan McKinney Steward pediatrician, homeopath 1847-1918 the third African-American woman to earn a medical degree, and the first in New York state.
Moogega Cooper.jpg Moogega Cooper Stricker Planetary protection engineer 1985-20?? NASA engineer working on Mars 2020 rover.
Thyrsa Frazier Svager.jpg Thyrsa Frazier Svager mathematician 1930-1999 one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD in mathematics
Latanya Sweeney at a Knight News Challenge event in New York City, November 2017.jpg Latanya Sweeney computer scientist computer scientist best known for work on k-anonymity

T[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
NASA photo of data scientist Valerie L. Thomas.gif Valerie Thomas physicist and inventor 1943- Inventor of the Illusion Transmitter
Overseer of NASA's Landsat program, international expert in Landsat data products
Lisette Titre-Montgomery Lisette Titre-Montgomery Game Developer 1998- Art Director and Game Developer . Lisette has contributed to some of the industry's highest profile games, including Tiger Woods Golf, The Simpsons, Dante's Inferno, Dance Central 3, SIMS 4, South Park, and Transformers Age Of Extinction for Android and iOS. Her most recent project is Psychonauts 2 with Double Fine Productions. [26]
Margaret E. M. Tolbert chemist and science administrator 1943- the first African American and the first woman in charge of a Department of Energy lab [38]
Rubye Prigmore Torrey chemist 1926– [39]

V[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Powtawche Valerino October 2017 (cropped).jpg Powtawche Valerino mechanical engineer

W[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Chelsea Walton MFO 2014.jpg Chelsea Walton mathematician 1983 –
Dawn Ward synthetic chemist 1973 – Chemist creating molecules active against Hepatitis C virus [40]
Dr Gladys West Hall of Fame.jpg Gladys West mathematician 1930 – work on satellite geodesy models used in GPS
Jessica profile picture.jpg Jessica Ware evolutionary biologist, entomologist. work on phylogenomics of insect evolution
Marguerite Williams geologist 1895 – 1991? the first African American to earn a doctorate in geology in the United States
Geraldine Pittman Woods science administrator 1921–1999 known for her lifelong dedication to community service and for establishing programs that promote minorities in STEM fields, scientific research, and basic research [41]
Biophoto2.jpg Dawn Wright oceanographer, geographer 1961- expert in seafloor mapping, marine geographic information systems [42][43]
Jane Cooke Wright.jpg Jane C. Wright cancer researcher, surgeon 1919-2013 pioneering cancer researcher and surgeon noted for her contributions to chemotherapy


Y[edit]

Image Name Field(s) Dates Notes Ref.
Josephine Silone Yates, c1902 (cropped).jpg Josephine Silone Yates chemist 1859-1912 [44]
Chavonda Jacobs-Young - USDA Agricultural Research Service Administrator.jpg Chavonda Jacobs-Young paper science first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D in paper science [45]
Roger Arliner Young zoology 1889-1964 first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Zoology

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 143–150. ISBN 9780199742882.
  • Carey, Charles W. (2008). African Americans in science: an encyclopedia of people and progress. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 51–52. ISBN 9781851099986.
  • "STEM Equity Pipeline – Resources – Online Resources". NAPE – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. Archived from the original on 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  • Rice, Delores. "The Career Experiences of African American Female Engineers" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  • Robelin, Erik W (2010-03-22). "Education Week: U.S. Gets Poor Grades in Nurturing STEM Diversity". Education Week. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  • Sullivan, Otha Richard (2002). African American women scientists and inventors. Black stars. New York: Wiley. ISBN 047138707X.
  • [46][47][48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brown, Dorothy Lavinia (1919-2004)". BlackPast.org. 19 January 2015. Archived from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Hine, Darlene Clark (2005). Black Women in American History. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 257. ISBN 9780195223743.
  3. ^ "About Johnnetta B. Cole, Ph.D." Spelman College's Presidents Office about page. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Physicists – AAWIP". Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  5. ^ Christian, Margena A. (2012-01-10). "Brittney Exline Becomes Nation's Youngest African-American Engineer". Careers & Finance – EBONY. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  6. ^ "Cassandra G. Extavour, Principal Investigator". Harvard University Extavour Lab. 2008. Archived from the original on 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  7. ^ Rowley, Dorothy (2014-01-01). "Lockheed Martin's Stephanie Hill wins Black Engineering Award". Washington Informer. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  8. ^ de Vise, Daniel. "Why the nation needs more female engineers". The Washington Post – College, Inc. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  9. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 92–99. ISBN 9780199742882.
  10. ^ Hine, Darlene Clarke (2005). Black Women in America. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 140. ISBN 9780195223750.
  11. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 56–60. ISBN 9780199742882.
  12. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 84–91. ISBN 9780199742882.
  13. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 108–111. ISBN 9780199742882.
  14. ^ Sullivan, Otha Richard (2002). African American women scientists and inventors. Black stars. New York: Wiley. pp. 47–49. ISBN 047138707X.
  15. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 27–29. ISBN 9780199742882.
  16. ^ "About ABPsi - History". www.abpsi.org. The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). Archived from the original on 15 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  17. ^ Carey, Charles W. (2008). African Americans in science: an encyclopedia of people and progress. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 142–144. ISBN 9781851099986.
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  19. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9780199742882.
  20. ^ Carey, Charles W. (2008). African Americans in science: an encyclopedia of people and progress. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 150–152. ISBN 9781851099986.
  21. ^ "Cora Bagley Marrett". National Academy of Sciences, African American History Program. Archived from the original on 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  22. ^ "UCF's McCauley-Bush is Engineering Role Model for Black History Month". UCF Today – Orlando, FL. 22 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  23. ^ "UCF Engineering Professor Pamela McCauley Bush Among Top Women in Technology Recognized by Connected World Magazine". 2014-03-24. Archived from the original on 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  24. ^ "Famous African American Women in STEM" (PDF). NAPE – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
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  26. ^ a b Talbert, Marcia Wade (2011-03-01). "Women In STEM – Black Enterprise". Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  27. ^ Mickens, Ronald E. (2002). Edward Bouchet : the first African-American doctorate. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-02-4909-0. OCLC 191532647.
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  29. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 151–156. ISBN 9780199742882.
  30. ^ Jarvis, Claire (September 30, 2019). "The overlooked element makers". Physics Today. doi:10.1063/PT.6.4.20190930a. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
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  44. ^ Brown, Jeannette E. (2012). African American women chemists. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 12–18. ISBN 9780199742882.
  45. ^ Fox, Tom (2017-06-06). "This USDA administrator's leadership style?: 'Good or bad, I'm authentic'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  46. ^ Sullivan, Otha Richard (2002). African American women scientists and inventors. Black stars. New York: Wiley. pp. 72–74. ISBN 047138707X.
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