African American Women Chemists

African American Women Chemists

by Jeannette Brown
     
 

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Dr. Marie Maynard Daly received her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1947. Although she was hardly the first of her race and gender to engage in the field, she was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in the United States. In this book, Jeannette Brown, an African American woman chemist herself, will present a wide-ranging

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Overview

Dr. Marie Maynard Daly received her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1947. Although she was hardly the first of her race and gender to engage in the field, she was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in the United States. In this book, Jeannette Brown, an African American woman chemist herself, will present a wide-ranging historical introduction to the relatively new presence of African American women in the field of chemistry. It will detail their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women.

The book contains sketches of the lives of African America women chemists from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960's when the Civil Rights Acts were passed and greater career opportunities began to emerge. In each sketch, Brown will explore women's motivation to study the field and detail their often quite significant accomplishments. Chapters focus on chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist. The book concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an interesting collection of profiles, many of them firsts, of women who broke barriers in a demanding field." -Booklist

"Like pioneers in any field, these women were more than just chemical researchers or educators; they were true "Renaissance women," often dually employed as reporters, editors, activists, or even priests, and playing leadership roles in national and grassroots organizations. Brown's factual accounts, while often impassive and dull, are greatly informative, and are supported by extensive citations of texts, journal articles, and personal interviews. Although books on African American chemists and female African American scientists do exist, this book is the first biographical reference on this specific underrepresented population. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students of all levels and general readers." — D. L. Jacobs, Rider University

Library Journal
In the opening chapter of this book, Brown (former faculty associate, New Jersey Inst. of Technology) concedes that much has been written about African American women in science. However, she explains that many of these resources are scattered across compilations and aren't as targeted. Two exceptions come to mind: Wini Warren's Black Women Scientists in the United States and Diann Jordan's Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists on Race, Gender, and Their Passion for Science. Like Warren's work, Brown's reference provides biographical profiles of 26 women and includes an appendix listing publications by the subjects in chronological order. Brown's compilation advances the effort to document the accomplishments of African American women in science. The essays are easy to read and not only highlight the women's achievements but also detail obstacles—such as poverty, prejudice, or segregation—that the women overcame to reach their goals. VERDICT Recommended for academic library collections, especially those with strong history-of-science and/or ethnic studies collections.—Faye A. Chadwell, Oregon State Univ. Libs., Corvallis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199742882
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/14/2011
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

Jeannette Elizabeth Brown is a former Faculty Associate at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is the 2004 Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section) Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and consistently lectures on African American women in chemistry.

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