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Claude Harvard, Dublin Georgia, and Me
by Mursalata Muhammad, Educational Architect
Even though inventor Claude Harvard lived in Dublin, Georgia until he was about 10, he was a Detroiter. He NEVER spoke of his life in Georgia or his original first name, which was not “Claude.” No amount of prompting could move him past this statement: “I was born when my mother brought me to Detroit.” As a 10-year-old “newborn” - Claude set to the task of learning as much as possible about radios and machinery. These interests gave him the engineering foundation for his later invention, the bulk of which were invented while he worked at Ford Motor Company.
Educational architect Mursalata Muhammad will gather the fragments of Claude Harvard’s life scattered about the internet, printed in an oral history, and rooted in her lived experiences with him. In the words of Mursalata, “This presentation is my attempt to tell you a story that brings together what is most worth telling in this moment.”
Mursalata Muhammad was born and raised in Detroit. Muhammad is an English professor at Grand Rapids Community College. To honor Claude Harvard, she established the GRCC Bragg, Harvard, Muhammad Smith – Why We Can't Wait Scholarship Fund. A published poet and lifelong learner, Muhammad is currently working on completing doctoral work and a memoir.