Matthew Hale is an author because of his grandkids.
"I was looking for information for them," the Marine Corps veteran told Scripps News. "Representation is important."
The Tampa talent spent four years writing 10 books in his epic "Black Historical Figures" series — starting with inventors and covering everything from actors to athletes and activists. His catchphrase: "We Gonna Learn Today!"
The books combine history lessons with fun games to help young readers retain facts about these real-life superheroes. There's an accompanying website with digital and interactive libraries and more.
During a recent school stop at Tampa's Walton Academy for the Performing Arts, he brought along a Super Soaker, which was invented by Lonnie Johnson, whose creation has earned more than $1 billion in sales. The kids had no idea that it was dreamed up by a Black inventor and engineer. But now they do, and they'll never forget it.
This story was originally published by Sean Daly at Scripps News Tampa.
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