All throughout high school I was taught time and time again that their was some systematic plan on behalf of white society to down play the role of blacks in every day inventions. It seemed that the entire month of February (I know it is Black History Month) turned every class into a 50 minute diatribe about how blacks invented this and that. But I always wondered, are these inventors over shadowed because they are black or because no one really cares about inventors.
Evidence no one cares about inventors: Philo T. Farnsworth (a white man) invented the non-mechanical television, but by the time of his death was forgotten by society.
See also: http://www33.brinkster.com/iiiii/inventions/