Courage of the Heart
How are people able to persevere and display courage in the face of racism, prejudice and discrimination? What causes people to put the needs of society or humanity ahead of their own personal needs? How does society benefit when all people are given equal opportunities to succeed academically and economically?
Students learn how individuals have persevered in the face of discrimination in order to impact the course of history for the common good. Vivien Thomas shared his time and talent to assist Dr. Alfred Blalock in pioneering a surgical clamp during the era of segregation in the United States. Hamilton Naki assisted Dr. Christian Barnard in heart transplantation in South Africa within the system of apartheid. Both men worked for unequal pay and without recognition, yet continued to work for the common good rather than personal gain.
Students learn about the scientific contributions of African American inventors and scientists. They view a film about Vivien Thomas and a breakthrough surgery in 1944.
The lesson's purpose is to research various African American inventors who have had a positive influence on society by contributing to the common good.