Influential African-Americans in Tech
Golden Globe nominated Hidden Figures is based on the true story of the African-American women whose mathematical contributions made NASA’s first successful space missions possible and brings to light African-Americans’ historic role in technology. African Americans played integral roles in some of America’s greatest engineering feats and technical advances. Here’s a look at some of today’s most influential African-American leaders in the tech industry.
A true believer in the importance of providing people with opportunities to rise, Majora Carter opened a tech incubator and educational center in South Bronx. Despite the area’s reputation, she believes that providing a resource and path for people in the Bronx to be creative and engineer new technologies is the best way to disrupt the cycle of poverty and imprisonment.
Jon Gosier combines technology and business to design audience measurement algorithms for music and entertainment companies leading to millions of dollars in revenue. Gosier inspires other minority founders in the tech field through his writing and public speaking engagements. In addition, he is the founder of two non-profit organizations including Appfrica, a technical advisory community across Africa that so far has lead to the creation of over $80 million in economic activity across the continent.
A researcher at NASA, Donya Douglas works on thermal technologies for computers and transport systems. Her work has led to improvements in laptop technologies which keep our computers from overheating during use. She is also a mentor with some of NASA’s kids programs, and speaks at local schools to motivate students.
Founder of BlackGirlsCode, Bryant’s program is designed to help introduce young African-American girls to coding and software development. Her organization now covers nine cities where classes are taught exclusively to young girls of color, and helps them find allies in the tech environment, traditionally dominated by white and Asian men.
Encouraging African-American Innovation
There are a growing number of African-Americans in technology today, paving the way for future generations. Many of them have formed educational or other non-profit organizations to help people in their community gain the opportunity to learn about the STEM fields.