A lot of students know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and Rosa Parks. However, there are so many hidden figures in African American history. One hidden figure is Percy Julian.
Percy Julian is to soybean, what George Washington Carver is to the peanut. He made several discoveries from the soybean one of which is how we synthetically make hormones such as progesterone and testosterone.
He was one of the first African-American chemists elected to the National Academy of the Sciences, in 1973. He was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 1999 his synthesis of physostigmine was recognized by the American Chemical Society as “one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry” (http://www.biography.com/people/percy-julian-9359018).
Percy Julian received more than 130 chemical patents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Lavon_Julian. n.d. 20 May 2016). However, that does not compare the number of lives he saved and health regained by countless individuals.
Julian said “I have had one goal in my life, that of playing some role in making life a little easier for the persons who come after me” (Lisa Yount).
Join us this February for Hidden Figures in African American History: A Book Study & Film Review as we uncover other hidden figures in African and African American History while unlocking your child’s reading comprehension, writing and artistic skills. To learn more click here.