Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Press release of the day: Thanks for the mailboxes and dustpans, black people!

Hoffman Estates, Ill. (January 29, 2008) — As part of our continuing commitment to diversity and the communities where we work and live, and in celebration of Black History Month, Kmart will host Kmart Share the Word, a series of in-store events and activities to pay tribute to African-American inventors. The events will highlight contributions to our everyday lives such as the mailbox and the dustpan. Kmart also will host celebrity workshops that cover a variety of topics, from fashion, beauty, health and fitness, to education, motivation, music and entertainment.

“Diversity is a business priority and is woven into the fabric of who we are,” said Don Germano, senior vice president and general manager of Kmart retail. “Kmart’s long-standing commitment to diversity is a natural extension of our core beliefs. As our nation celebrates Black History Month, we are proud to honor and pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of African Americans, past and present.”

Someone actually invented the dustpan? According to About.com, Lloyd P. Ray, who was African-American, put a handle on the dustpan to allow cleanup “without getting one’s hands dirty.” But this page lists 164 dustpan patents that preceded Ray’s. You can guess what it says about mailboxes.

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