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The Black history I carry with me: Brandy Fluker Oakley

A Beautiful Resistance celebrates Black History Month

Brandy Fluker Oakleyfile

“My name is Brandy Fluker Oakley and I want to celebrate New England Black History by celebrating Lewis Howard Latimer.

He was born in 1848 in Chelsea, Mass., after his parents escaped slavery in Virginia. He was an inventor and patent writer who invented the carbon filament for the lightbulb and the precursor to the air conditioner. He also drafted the necessary drawings to patent Alexander Bell’s telephone and served as a consultant to patent law firms. Latimer is an ancestor who sums up ‘because of them we can; without them we can’t.’

I’m grateful for the legacy of Black history that fuels me every day.”


Brandy Fluker Oakley is a Massachusetts state representative, proudly standing for the 12th Suffolk District.

Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com. Follow her @sincerelyjenee and on Instagram @abeautifulresistance.