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BLACK INVENTORS: CHANGING HOW WE DO BUSINESS

2/1/2017, 12:06 p.m. | Updated on 2/1/2017, 12:06 p.m.
Over the last 500 years, Black people from Africa, and their descendents have fully participated in the development of the ...
Calvin Flowers, president & founder of the Chicago Inventors Organization (CIO), has assisted more than 11,000 local residents in understanding how inventions and patents work. Flowers founded Tel-Loc, a company that invented a device that locked touch tone phones and internet services. Flowers Security Jacks invention sold over $1 million dollars worth in Walgreens. Photo Credits: Duane Salve

BLACK INVENTORS:

CHANGING HOW WE DO BUSINESS

Over the last 500 years, Black people from Africa,

and their descendents have fully participated in the development of the world’s agricultural, business, medical and scientific innovations and inventions.

When citing inventors, few books mention the accomplishments of Black inventors outside the United States. That list often excludes Black inventors from Africa, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, Russia and the United Kingdom.

But that changed in 2008, with the release of a book called, “Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success,” by Keith C. Holmes. The book is now available as an e-book on a number of different eReaders, book distributors, bookstores, educational institutions and libraries, according to a press release on africaresource.com.

As reported on Globalblackinventor.com, the book identifies black inventors from five continents, over seventy countries, including almost all fifty states in the United States. Citing a number of black inventors from 1769 - 2007, the book is one of the most comprehensive works on black Inventors since Henry E. Baker’s research on Black inventors in the early 20th century.

While there is documented proof that blacks worldwide have changed the way America and people across the globe do business, black inventor entrepreneurs are also making their impact known in world-wide and in Chicago.

Through an organization called, The Chicago

Inventors Organization, (CIO) formerly known as

the Chicago Black Inventors’ Organization, inventorentrepreneurs are finding a pathway into breaking into big box stores while avoiding costly scams.

“To avoid being taken advantage of, the first thing

you need to do is to join an inventors’ organization,

said Calvin Flowers.

As the owner, and creator of a cell-phone security

jack company and President & Founder Chicago Inventors Organization (CIO), Flowers speaks from experience.

Flowers found credible help to market his own invention and later created Tel-Loc, a company that

produced his Security Jack products. The Security

Jack invention device locked touchtone phones and

internet services. Flowers’ business sky-rocketed, and

he sold more than $1 million worth of products to

Walgreens.

But that success didn’t come with out paying a price. He shares his remarkable story on CIO’s website at chicago-inventors.org where he explains how necessity truly became the mother of invention.

Flowers advises inventors to be fully engaged in the process of getting their invention to the marketplace. “You want to be hands on in every step of your project. You may have to hire people to help you, but at the end of the day, you have to understand the full details of your invention. You can get taken advantage of when you’re not a good negotiator.”

Though Blacks have made significant contributions in the way of inventions, Flowers said many Blacks haven’t received credit for their inventions.

“At the heart of our organization, we still have a

focus on Black inventors. As Blacks, we have always

been inventive people and our contributions and

inventions were never recognized. The reason why we

couldn’t move forward with our inventions is that our