Black and white photograph from around 1906 shows African American inventor Charles S.L. Baker and another man, possibly Baker's brother Peter, standing behind heating (radiator) system. One man is holding a knob that is attached to two wires.
19 November 2022 - 02 March 2023
Bayview General Floor Area
Bayview/Linda Brooks-Burton

5075 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94124
United States

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Black Excellence, Black Invention explores the legacy of the thousands of Black innovators who have made life easier for individuals, businesses and communities through meaningful contributions and inventions.

Inspired by the Black Excellence bookmark celebrating Black inventors created by Dr. Carolyn Ransom-Scott, the display uses library materials and archival resources to show how Black invention is joyful and resistant. Centered on a non-commercial view of invention, it highlights historical inventions in science and technology as well as documenting Black achievements in art, music, writing, sports and food culture. By celebrating Black invention, we hope to inspire the next generation of inventors and motivate them to remember that Black excellence and genius is responsible for some of the world’s greatest technological and social achievements, from the traffic light to the super soaker to the peanut and much more.

This exhibit was originally on view in the African American Center at the Main Library, from February to June 2022, and then at Potrero Branch from August to November 2022.