Dr. Marie Maynard Daly received her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1947. Although she was hardly the first of her race and gender to engage in the field, she was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in the United States. In this book, Jeannette Brown, an African American woman chemist herself, will present a wide-ranging historical introduction to the relatively new presence of African American women in the field of chemistry. It will detail their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women.
The book contains sketches of the lives of African America women chemists from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960's when the Civil Rights Acts were passed and greater career opportunities began to emerge. In each sketch, Brown will explore women's motivation to study the field and detail their often quite significant accomplishments. Chapters focus on chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist. The book concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in science.