[Good print book with black and white photographs.] Thomas Wyatt Turner (1877-1978), born the son of sharecroppers, became the first African American to earn the Ph.D. degree in botany in the United States. As a scientist and educator, Turner fervently believed that African American students, regardless of background and future occupation, should be grounded in science and mathematics to succeed in the technological future of the 20th century. He made science relevant and practical in the classroom with experimental methods and real life applications that convinced his high school and college students of their ability, male and female, to master these disciplines. Turner was a STEM educator 100 years ahead of his time. From boyhood dreams, struggles and sometimes humorous tales in Southern Maryland, the story moves to early student days at Howard University, then teaching at Tuskegee Institute, as well as Baltimore and St. Louis segregated high schools. Turner returns to Howard as a professor and early member of the NAACP, then moves to Hampton Institute as it struggles to become a four- year institution. His wide ranging professional collaboration with other African American scientists, as well as renowned academics in the United States and Europe provided his students with a model of teamwork so critical in todays world. At the same time, the memoir reflects his own strong views on the institutions, colleagues and issues of his educational and racial environment.
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