Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Sound Man - James West

Inventor, James West

Have you ever witnessed, via television or otherwise, a KKK rally? Have you ever seen protestors that speak loudly of the supremacy of the white race? And what is the instrument that they all use that enables them to speak loudly and be heard? A microphone.

Now isn't that ironic? I wonder if these people know - although I doubt it considering the evidence of their obvious ignorance - that the very instrument they use to get their messages to others was created by a member of the group they are most well-known for hating?

Today's focus of black history is inventor James West. He was born February 10, 1931 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He later interned with, and eventually worked for Bell Labs in electroacoustics, physical acoustics, and architectural acoustics.

West is credited with designing the electroacoustic transducer. This device is an advanced electrical component that enables electric energy into acoustic energy. This device is used in 90% of the microphones, telephones, and video cameras built today.

West has over 200 patents, in the US and abroad, to his name. He's been the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to acoustical technology, and he has been inducted into several halls of fame and a list of prestigious organizations. He also heads a attempts to encourage black youth in academics, especially science and technology.

Most surprisingly, James West is still alive! He's one of the few people celebrated during black history month to whom our admiration is most joyous.

Considering this, I'd love for some reality show or something to share this information during a KKK rally. I can't imagine how utterly delightful it would be to watch their horrified faces and watch them scramble for some sort of semi-decent response, which would most certainly be difficult for them, to say the least.

Sources:, Black, The Free, Invent,

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