Black History Month: Contributions to Health and Science Disciplines

George Washington Carver ( 1894?-1943), was a scientist, botanist, inventor, and agricultural pioneer, developing new uses for the peanut and sweet potatoes and innovative methods of crop rotation.

George Washington Carver: A Life

George Washington Carver in His Own Words (e-book)bookcover (1)

Modern Marvels: George Washington Carver (Films on Demand)





Rick Kittles (1966?-      ) is an American biologist specializing in human genetics. He is currently Professor of Surgery and Public Health at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.  He achieved renown in the 1990s for his pioneering work in tracing the ancestry of African Americans via DNA Kittles_4x6_SURGERY-22testing and co-founded African Ancestry, Inc., a world leader in tracing lineages of African descent.

Pibiri, F., Kittles, R. A., Sandler, R. S., Keku, T. O., Kupfer, S. S., Xicola, R. M., & … Ellis, N. A. (2014). Genetic variation in vitamin D-related genes and risk of colorectal cancer in African Americans. Cancer Causes & Control: CCC, 25(5), 561-570. doi:10.1007/s10552-014-0361-y.

Torres, J. B., PhD., & Kittles, R. A., PhD. (2007). The relationship between “race” and genetics in biomedical research. Current Hypertension Reports, 9(3), 196-201. doi:

Kittles, R. A., & Weiss, K. M. (2003). RACE,ANCESTRY, AND GENES: Implications for Defining Disease RiskAnnual Review Of Genomics & Human Genetics, 4(1), 33-67. doi:10.1146/annurev.genom.4.070802.110356


Mae Jemison (1956-     ) is a physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first female African American astronaut when she flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

Jendayi Frazer, & Mae C. Jemison. (1993). Advancing African Health Care through Space Technology: An Interview with Dr. Mae C. Jemison. Africa Today, 40(3), 70–73. 

Women in Space (DVD)jemison

In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past




The following selected titles discuss African American contributions to chemistry, medicine, mathematics, nursing, science, and astronomy/space exploration.   To search for additional titles, go to the GIL catalog.

African American Women Chemists

African American Medicine in Washington, D.C. : Healing the Capital During the Civil War Era

Beyond Banneker : Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence

Early Black American Leaders in Nursing: Architects for Integration and Equality

Resilience and Success: the Professional Journeys of African American Women Scientists

We Could Not Fail: the First African Americans in the Space Program




About Brenna Helmstutler

Brenna is the Team Leader of Library Services for Health & Sciences. She is also the point person for faculty services in the library, and coordinates the library’s scholarly impact outreach program.
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