Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Straightening Comb

Today is the day most African American women spend part of their day at the Beauty Shop getting their hair done. Some get a wash and set. Some may get a perm, twists, braids, or straightened.  Today I did  my own hair. First I did a wash and set.  Then after being outside on the soccer field my hair was wind blown and looking crazy so, I straightened my hair.  I know you saying girl, just go the shop and I say girl, I am saving myself some money honey! Yes, I straighten my hair. Girl, I have to admit, the hair looks good.  Madame C. J. Walker invented the straightening comb and hair softener.

Madame C. J. Walker’s inventions indeed changed the life of African American Women. African American women no longer had to wear just braids, twists, or the afro. Now the hair could be straightened.  Even with the hair straight there is still a lot of bounce and body. So lovely.

In 1909 Madame C. J. Walker invented her hair softener and a special straightening comb. Instantaneously she was in business.  She trained people on how to use the products and allocated franchises.  Her annual payroll was over $200,000.  Madame C. J. Walker was the first female self made millionaire. This wonderful invention laid the foundation of the cosmetics industry for African American Woman.

Thank you Madame C. J. Walker for the straightening comb and the hair softener.

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 12, 2010 in Love


Traffic Light

The automatic traffic light was one of the greatest inventions I know of that helps everyone 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

Imagine a day in the 21st century without a Traffic light.  You are traveling down route 24 and you are coming to a 4 way intersection.  You are a mile away from the intersection and there are no cars in view.  You are  traveling at 55 mph and  have reached the intersection. You look to the right and there is a car crossing at the same time. Crash!!!!  Both cars are totaled and you and the other driver are off to the hospital with life threatening injuries.  Wow!  The invention of the Traffic Light  has helped prevent accidents like I just described.

Garrett A Morgan created the first automatic Traffic Light. Yes he is an African American Inventor. In 1923 he acquired a patent for his invention.

Garrett A Morgan also opened his own sewing equipment and repair shop in 1907. In 1909 he added a tailor shop in which he had several employees.  In 1920 Garrett Morgan established a newspaper business The Cleveland Call.  He even invented the  GAS MASK!!  Awesome, his invention saved lives.

To find out more click on the links.

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 9, 2010 in Love


Abbey Fisher and Malinda Russell

In my journey of acquiring more knowledge about African American History,  I have peeked the desire for others to learn more too.  In today’s blog, I need to give a special thanks to Angela Williams for giving me the information on Abbey Fisher and Malinda Russell.  Thank you Angie and thank you for joining me on this quest.

In 1866, Malinda Russell was the first African American to publish a cookbook, A Domestic Cookbook. Malinda was a widow and had to raise her crippled son by herself because her husband died. Malinda ran a laundry in Virginia, a boarding house and pastry shop in Tennessee.

In 1881, Abbey Fisher  was the second African American to publish a cookbook, What Mrs. Fisher knows about the Southern Cooking.  Abbey Fisher could not read or write.   Mrs. Fisher was a former slave from South Carolina and was freed after the Civil War.  She won two medals at the San Francisco Mechanics’ Institute Fair for best pickles and sauces in 1879.

To find out more click on the list below.

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 4, 2010 in Love


The Man in the Library

In the magazine American Legacy, The magazine of African-American History and Culture, I find a wonderful story about ” The Man in the Library”.

Daniel Alexander Payne Murry is the man in the Library.  Daniel Murray was an Assistant Librarian at the Library of Congress, the second African American professional to work at the Library of Congress.  He created the collection of books and pamphlets by black authors for the 1900 Exhibition Universal, a World Fair.  Daniel also was an active and a well known figure in Washington society.

In 1898 he led an all black delegation that met with President William McKinley and wrote essays on African American issues.

In reading the bibliography on, I found something very fascinating. Daniel Alexander Payne Murry was the first African-American member of the Washington Board of Trade and he testified before the House of Representative on Jim Crow laws and  African Americans moving from rural to urban areas. He was twice a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 3, 2010 in Love


The First African American to Compete in NASCAR

Bill Lester was the first African American to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 1999, in NASCAR trucks (2002- 2006) and in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series (2006). 

Bill earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984, and worked for Hewlett-Packard Company (H-P).  Lester worked for HP and raced cars.

After many years with the Hewlett-Packard Company as a Project Manager, and racing cars on the weekends, Bill Lester decided to be pursue his dream of becoming a professional racer car driver. His dream came true.

Bill Lester still races cars.  To review the article on Bill Lester go to or go to Bill Lester’s website

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Love


The First Africian American Manufacture of Cigars in America

Don Abram Harris Cigars is the first ever African American Manufacture of Cigars in America.

According to the Don Abram Harris Cigar line was first introduced at the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV in July of  2008.  Don Abram Harris Cigars recently landed a major sales contract with Navy Exchange (NEX), commonly know was the Berne eXchange (BX ), which is the retail store operating on military bases.

Don Abram Harris Cigars come in the most recognizable sizes and wrappers from Puerto Rico, Brazil and Africa. Each has its own distinct aroma and taste.

As a teenager, Abe Harris developed a love and appreciation for premium, handmade cigars – much to his parent’s dissatisfaction. To have a cigar brand of his own has always been his dream, and now it is his reality.

The Don Abram Harris Cigars will soon be sold across the country at the TravelCenters of America-165 T/A truck stops beginning at the Maryland T/A Centers in Baltimore, Jessup and Elkton.

To learn more visit

More to come from the Africana Princess.


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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Love


Ernest C. Withers

Ernest C. Withers recorded important events in the Civil Rights Movement.  He was a Photographer.  

Ernest C. Withers first started taking pictures in the 8th grade when he got his first camera as a gift from his sister. When he went into the Army in 1943 he became a Military Photographer.  Men within his squad would ask him to take pictures of them to send back  home. Withers then opened a Photography business.  He took pictures of Martin Luther King Jr, the Emmett Till trial, Satchel Paige, Brook Benton, Elvis, Issac Hayes and many other notable events and people. Ernest C Withers did not realize at the time that he was recording history, he was trying to make living to support his family.

Ernest C Wither departed this world in 2007 and left for the world to see history through pictures.

To learn more about Ernest C. Wither you can go to or just simply type  in Ernest C. Wither on a search engine on the internet.

More to come from the Africana Princess.

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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Love

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