A Tribute to Our Founder

Lady Sala S. Shabazz

Valerie J. Robinson
Lady Sala S. Shabazz
1952 - 2002
Lady Sala S. Shabazz, the founder of The Black Inventions Museum, passed away on March 28, 2002 at the Century City Hospital in Los Angeles, California. She was 50 years old.

Her memorial service, titled "Celebration of Life", was held at the Inglewood Cemetery and Mortuary. Here eulogy was delivered by Lilly Daniels and included a tribute delivered by Dr. Patricia Bath, a close friend of Lady Sala and inventor of the apparatus used to remove cataracts from the eye.

Some of Lady Sala's most memorable achievements includes the creation of The Black Inventions Museum. The establishment of Sala Enterprises - an independent book publishing company under which she authored and published her most requested books:

The Cinco Demayo Coloring Book, The Kwanzaa Coloring Book, and the ever popular Little Known Black History Facts book, and other popular publications. Her work has been featured on the Tom Joyner morning show and used by Consultants of the video tape Making Happen: Masters of Inventions. She also sponsored the African American Inventions Series CD-ROM .

Lady Sala was an author, visionary, and leader. She will be missed.

In 1988, as an independent book publisher, Sala Enterprises and author of children's books, i.e. The Kwanzaa Coloring Book and other publications; and as a vendor at cultural events, LADY SALA began selling a poster entitled "Black Inventions Live On," published by Chandler White Publishing Company of Illinois. At that time, the idea came to LADY SALA to create a miniature inventions museum highlighting inventions by African inventors. After researching the cost of miniatures, and finding the expense prohibitive, LADY SALA took items from her home, put them in a box and began gathering additional information and documentation on inventors and their inventions.

In February 1991, the first showing of The Museum was presented to the Jack & Jill group in Yorba Linda, California, with only tow tables of inventions. However, continued research was conducted and inventions were added. Thereafter, in 1992, the Gardena African-American Cultural Arts Foundation invited LADY SALA to present The Black Inventions Museum for their Black History Month program on February 29, 1992. During the course of that day, a Los Angeles inventor saw the museum; and, after several meetings, LADY SALA was referred to an interested party who could financially assist in the museum's presentation. LADY SALA met with ICE CUBE, the well-known, controversial Rapper and Movie Star and his manager, Patricia Charbonnet in June 1992.

In July 19992, ICE CUBE and STREET KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION endorsed, and THE McKENZIE RIVER PARTNERSHIP sponsored, The Black Inventions Museum with a sizable financial donation for the museum's presentation at the African Marketplace and Cultural Fair, a City of Los Angeles event.

During the last weekend of the African Marketplace, Everett Staton, Corporate Sales Executive, witnessed the phenomena of the response to the museum's presentation, and after negotiations invited Sala Enterprises and The Black Inventions Museum to participate in a 14 city tour of Black Expo USA 1993. After a successful tour, and numerous school presentations in 1993, Black Expo USA requested that The Black Inventions Museum participate in a 15 city tour in 1994, 1995, and 1996. In March 1997, The Black Invention Museum displayed at the WEB DuBois Center for Pan African Culture and universities in Ghana, West Africa for African History Month; and in August displayed at the Pan-African Theatre and Art Festival (PANAFEST -'97 & '99) in Cape Coast, Ghana. To date, the museum has displayed in 4 countries, 38 states, including St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and 180 cities.


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