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Springfield High School

101 South Lewis Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Celebrating Black History

Each year at the SHS Library, we look forward to celebrating the lives of contributions of African Americans, and this year is no exception.  Through our revelry, we acknowledge and honor the lives of those Black Americans who have, in many ways, left a positive mark on our nation.  This year, the library aims to seek out some lesser known African Americans whose contributions have enrichened lives and brought multitudes of people together.  Our selections this year are:

Lonnie Johnson

Jerry Lawson

Mark Dean

Kevin Peter Hall


Mark Dean

IBM chief, Dr Mark Dean: The PC is dead | Daily Mail Online

Yet another inventor, Mark Dean further enhanced the contributions of last week's nominee.  After all, what good are video games unless they can be played in full color?  As the inventor of the color monitor, Mark Dean made that achievement possible and elevated the visual aesthetic of gaming into a higher spectrum.  Mr. Dean developed this technology while working at IBM, and had a major hand in creating the first gigahertz chip and the ISA system.  Quite simply, computing would not be what it is today without the work of Mark Dean.  Be sure to check out the links below to learn more about this amazing inventor. 




Jerry Lawson

Image result for jerry lawson

Like last week's honoree, Jerry Lawson was an inventor.  Also like last week's honoree, his invention brought together peoples of all walks of life and has impacted entire generations of people from around the world.  With the creation of the first video game cartridge, Jerry was on the groundfloor of creating a brand new entertainment genre, and played a critical role in its inception.  While the shape, sizes, and forms of cartridges have changed and evolved with each new generation of consoles, the spirit of Mr. Lawson's work has not.  As we move into the digital era where physical cartridges are no longer necessary, we should not fail to remember Jerry or the spirit of his work.  Take a moment to check out the links below to learn more information about Jerry's life.




Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson Inventor of Super Soaker Water Gun

Lonnie Johnson is our first Black History Month honoree, and sets the bar high for the weeks to come.  As the creator of the Super Soaker, Mr. Johnson's contribution to the lives of millions of children (many of which our now adults) can not be overstated.  Aside from the summer fun and heat relief that the Super Soaker provides, the toy is incredibly adept at bringing people together.  Check out Lonnie's full story via the links below!