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Chemistry in Black History and What it Means to Me


Lymon Sneed III
February 17, 2021

My name is Lymon Sneed III, a junior here at the University of Northern Colorado, studying Chemistry with an emphasis in Pre-Health. When I think of people who contributed to my particular field, specifically Black people, I think of chemist and political activist, Hosea Williams, renowned for his militancy and ability to organize and mobilize protestors for various demonstrations. Hosea Williams was involved in the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, Hosea Feeds the Hungry, and many other organizations. He also founded the Southeast Chemical Manufacturing and Distributing Company, which focused on cleaning supplies as well as three other chemical companies. On top of being a chemist, a businessman, a political and social activist, Mr. Willians was also a member of my fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., joining our lineage of brotherhood that also includes other prestigious Black figures like Dr. Huey P. Newton and John Lewis.

To me, Hosea Williams is a pioneer, a revolutionary, and my frat brother. Thus, I feel as if I have a very unique connection to him and others who came before me. To be honest, I never heard of Hosea Williams until I joined my fraternity, and once I learned about his legacy, I was inspired to not only pursue my career in chemistry but to also continue to grow and develop as a young activist and revolutionary in today’s world.

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