CDE Lightband - Clarksville Department of Electricity – Clarksville, TN

We love to honor that everything we use, from our tools to our methods, has been greatly impacted or developed over the years by African Americans. Follow along as we share and celebrate the endeavors of some of the greatest minds and hear from our own employees during Black History Month.



Celebrating the accomplishments of Hazel O’Leary, the first African American Secretary of Energy. She helped advance America’s energy policy toward valuing renewables and linking energy with health and environmental quality. She emphasized the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency, increased funding for renewable energy fields, and established a quantifiable way to measure successes. She went on to lead the Ambassadors for the Minorities in Energy Initiative, part of Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.

Lewis Latimer was an inventor and author who specialized in drafting and illustrating patents — many of them electricity related. In the late 1870’s, U.S. Electric Lighting Company hired Latimer, where he and a colleague invented a light bulb with a carbon filament — a significant improvement on Thomas Edison’s paper filament design. In 1884, he wrote the first book on electric lighting, Incandescent Electric Lighting, and supervised the installation of public electric lights around New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London. Latimer literally brought light to cities all across the world. A true pioneer, Lewis Latimer paved the way for modern day electricity. His combination of technical skills and sheer passion contributed to the brighter, much more electrified world we live in today.