Wednesday, 14 October 2015 22:19

Fireside Chats with Mike Williams - February 2015

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Fireside Chats with Mike Williams - February 2015

It’s easy to take for granted the foundational technologies we use in our lives.

You know- the obvious tools we overlook because they define our modern world. This special edition of Fireside Chats tips its hat to black history month by shining a spotlight on a great black inventor from our past. This month’s installment of Fireside Chats is on Jack Johnson’s wrench

Patented in 1922, the wrench has become ubiquitous thanks to its elegant design. The creator, Jack Johnson, was as innovative as he was interesting. Jack Johnson was a celebrated boxer who earned the title of ‘Colored Heavyweight Champion of the Word’ in 1903 and became the first black man to become the ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ in 1908.

The wrench was conceptualized by Jack while serving a sentence for violating the Mann Act for traveling with his white girlfriend across state lines. The Mann Act was a law designed to target human traffickers but was also used to prosecute those perceived as immoral. Jack Johnson openly defied the racist legislation of his time paved the way for others to challenge the prejudices they face. Astronauts who are 3D printing wrenches in space are using the groundwork established by many great men and women, notably Jack Johnson. Long ago, humanity began a never-ending dialog about inclusiveness. We categorize people by characteristics such as culture, physical features, gender, and ideology. The world needs visionaries like Jack Johnson to remind the skeptics that greatness has its own categories.


Read 5932 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 October 2015 23:18
Mike Williams

Mike has been with HITECH since November 2011. He is a man of many hobbies, including drums, bikes and beer. Some of his certifications include: A+, Network+, MCPS, MCNPS, MS, Watchguard Firewalls


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