Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

As part of its celebration of Black History Month Lafayette will host the Black Inventions Museum Feb. 28-March 1.

The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Marlo Room of the Farinon College Center. Visitors will learn about some of the technological contributions that people of African descent have given to society.

Founded in 1988 by Valerie J. Robinson, also known as Lady Sala S. Shabazz, the traveling display includes scale models of inventions from the early 1800s to the present, biographical sketches of inventors, and copies of patent documents on more than 100 widely used inventions. These include the lawn mower, invented by John A. Burr; the gas mask and traffic signal, invented by Garrett Morgan; the fire extinguisher, invented by Tom J. Marshal; the refrigerator, by J. Standard; and the roller-coaster and telephone transmitter, by Granville T. Woods.

The exhibit has been viewed by more than a million people in 350 national and international venues. The first showing of the museum took place in February 1991 in Yorba Linda, Calif., with just two tables of inventions. After continued research, Shabazz was invited by the Gardena African-American Cultural Arts Foundation to present the museum for its Black History Month program the following year. Subsequent contributions, including one by rapper and film actor Ice Cube, funded expansion of the museum and its presentation at the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire in Los Angeles. It became part of a 14-city tour in 1993, which spearheaded many more exhibitions, including ones in Ghana, Benin, West Africa, Canada, and Brazil.

Shabazz is also a book publisher and author of the Best of the Little Known Black History Facts, a compilation of African American trivia, and The Kwanzaa Coloring Book.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural Development, (610) 330-5556.

Categorized in: News and Features