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Patents and Hip Hop - Run-D.M.C.'s political statements

Run-D.M.C., one of the most renowned hip hop bands from the eighties, addresses intellectual property issues in their lyrics as well. In Proud To Be Black, the band touches the issue of black inventors often neglected and ignored in history.

There was a man - an inventor - who invented so well He invented a fortune - for a man named Bell George Washington Carver, made the peanut great Showed any man with a mind, could create

The person referred to as having made a fortune for Bell (Graham Bell), according to my research, is Granville Woods (April 23, 1856 til January 30, 1910), an African-American engineer who held more than 60 US patents. In 1885, Woods patented a device called "telegraphony" which would allow a telegraph station to send voice and telegraph messages through Morse code over a single wire, and he sold his related IP to the American Bell Telephone Company.

George Washington Carver (1864 til 1943), the other black inventor mentioned by Run D.M.C., was involved in developing techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton.

Not only is it interesting that fundamental inventions having influenced all our lives are perceived as being originated by others, but also that this issue is being addressed in modern (if you want to call the 80s 'modern') music. Watch the video here.

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