I won't necessarily challenge the statement of black inventors being overlooked, but will question the role of invention and patents / property.
To begin, I'd probably say that patents are probably one of the most complex areas of law, and is not merely a 'reward for an invention', but a long and drawn out process for claiming property. If there is a group of people who has less access to legal resources in general, it's pretty safe to say their access to understanding the patent system is orders of magnitude smaller. Keep in mind, invention is not enough to get a patent, it's following the beaurocratic rigamarole to the T, and generally this is in the domain of wealthy, sophisticated corporations. I'd venture to say 90% of whiteys would have a difficult time with the procedural hoops. Hasn't the law always been a tool for the wealthy to beat up the guys with smaller sticks? anyway, digressing.. the point is, it's certainly possible to imagine many independent inventors arriving at the same invention, where only 1 gets credit such as the westinghouse patents. it's also possible to imagine someone developing 99% of an invention, and a more sophisticated client claiming his work is not fully enabling, adding the enabling feature and then take full credit. You get the picture.. it's certainly understandable how someone (especially prior to civil rights movement) to substantially steal or take credit of another's work. It's like whiteys moving to Indian land and claiming the property for their own.