What If There Were No Black Folks: Book Review


Photo of cover by Carter Smith

The cover of What If There Were No Black Folks? by Toni Abasi Hill

Carter Smith, Staff Writer

This book was written by Toni Abasi Hill. It is about learning what black people invented and what they did for the world. It’s also about realizing what the world would be like without black people. This book is about instilling confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem in black children and dispelling myths that others may or may not have about black people and their contributions to the world. This story starts with a young boy named Omari asking his mother, “What would the world be like without black folks?”

The story begins by the mom telling Omari that Sarah Boone invented the ironing board and Jan E. Matzeliger, invented the shoe-lasting machine in 1883. After that, the mom continues to tell Omari what black folks invented and improved. Such as telling Omari that Lyda Newman invented the vented hairbrush in 1898. The mother basically informs Omari on what black people created and the significance of black people in general.

All in all, I rate this book a 10/10. It informs us black people about our significance in the world and empowers us to keep going and adding on to what we’ve already done.

-Some of the things black people invented and improved include:

  • Hair Care Products(Madam C.J.Walker; 1905)
  • Dust Pan(Lloyd P. Ray; 1897)
  • Mop(Thomas Stewart; 1893)
  • Heated Clothes Dryer(George T. Sampson; 1892)
  • Pencil Sharpener(John Love; 1897)
  • Improved Fountain Pen(William Purvis; 1890)
  • Improved Typewriting Machine(Lee Burridge; 1885)
  • Improved Printing Press(W.A. Lavalette; 1878)
  • Door Knob(O. Dorsey; 1878)
  • Improved Lawn Mower Blade(John Burr; 1899)
  • Automatic Gear Shift(Richard Spikes; 1932)
  • Mechanical Traffic Sign(Garrett A. Morgan; 1923)
  • Improved Refrigerator Design(John Standard; 1891)
  • Thermostat Control(Frederick M. Jones; 1960)
  • Blood Bank(Dr. Charles Drew; 1941)
  • Open Heart Surgery(Dr. Daniel Hale Williams; 1893)
  • Folding Bed(Sarah E. Goode; 1885)