Title: What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors
Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Illustrator: Ben Boos and A.G. Ford
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Concepts: innovation, invention, racial inequality, social justice.
Review: Hard-working inventors have faced numerous difficulties in the past, including insufficient financial resources and poor access to information and communication channels as they designed new products, medicines, equipment, and gadgets. Black Americans faced additional obstacles in the form of discrimination and legal restrictions by race as they tried to bring their innovative plans to fruition. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar carefully documents the challenges and accomplishments experienced by a number of relatively unknown black American inventors as they made influential contributions in the past two centuries.
Abdul-Jabbar has done an excellent job writing about the personal backgrounds of these pioneers in science, medicine, and industry. With its clear presentation, fun facts on the side, and a parallel story, young readers will gain a new understanding of the impact that these innovations have had on scientific progress and on our everyday lives. The book offers a good opportunity to introduce readers to the concept of innovation and the idea that new inventions play an important role in improving societal well-being.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children