During the month of October the United Kingdom holds Black History Month to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and impacts of black people from past and present to educate others and make a more inclusive future.
Focusing on computer science, here at TBSC we recognize that there can be more done to make this area more inclusive. We realize there are black pioneers in this field, who broke barriers and paved the way for programming, development, and other areas of computer science/ tech industry to become more diverse. Though this field has come a long way, there is more to do to make sure everyone has the same opportunities and feelings of inclusion.
We wanted to highlight some black influential figures in computer science to help educate and bring awareness to the black community. We also wanted to help raise the voices of those in underrepresented groups.
Black history is British history.
Celebrating Black History Month by Recognizing Influential Black Pioneers in the Tech Industry
In 2011, Kimberly Bryant established Black Girls CODE to encourage and empower girls of color (7-17) to become leaders and innovators in the fields of STEM. With Bryant’s dedication, Black Girls CODE offers a variety of programs: community outreach, after school programs, workshops, and other tools to make an impact to a new generation of coders.
“I hope to literally change the world with Black Girls Code by changing the paradigm which produces the current monolithic ecosystem in technology” – Kimberly Bryant
Mark Dean was the lead on the team that built the first IBM personal computer (Released on August 12, 1981). With his role and groundbreaking work, Dean holds three of the original 9 patents. Based on an open architecture design and a substantial market of third-party peripherals, the IBM PC grew rapidly in popularity in the personal computer market. The IBM PC was one of the most popular computer designs in the world, making a world standard. Even today the current PC market is influenced by the IBM PC.
Evelyn Boyd Granville
Evelyn Boyd Granville was the second black women in the United States to gain a PhD in mathematics. In the 1950’s the United States was focused on going to space and needed Granville’s skills to program software. She developed software that analyzed trajectories of space crafts and orbits which would be used for the Apollo space program. Granville also wrote books and was a professor of mathematics, always being an advocate for women and people of color in STEM.
“I always smile when I hear that women cannot excel in mathematics” – Evelyn Boyd Granville
We recognize this is a short list and do encourage our readers to explore more influential figures in the tech industry. To learn more about Black History Month please visit: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/