African-American Pioneers in Science

Welcome to African-American Pioneers in Science.

This site contains profiles and accomplishments of pioneering African-American scientists.

Prior to the U.S. civil rights era in the 1960s, most African-Americans were denied access to advanced education and professional career opportunities. African-Americans wishing to pursue careers in science were especially handicapped due to unavailability of teaching and research positions at major universities.

The majority of blacks wishing to pursue science careers received their education from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Fisk University (Tennessee) and Hampton University (Virginia). Many of profiled scientists here taught at these schools before, after and while pursuing careers in industry.

The African-American scientists profiled on this site were born in the 19th and early 20th centuries when education opportunities available to blacks were at their worst. With the help of HBCUs and professional black organizations, these African-American Pioneers in Science made important contributions to science despite the obstacles and discrimination they encountered.

To read the profile of a scientist, click on the scientist's photo in the Alphabetical Listing below or click on the scientist's name under Chronological Listing on the left.

Also be sure to visit our African-American Pioneers in Science Book Store for more information on all the African-American scientists profiled on this site.