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Code Savvy Connections

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

The Latest From Code Savvy - Black Tech History

As we enter week two of Black History Month, I am reminded of all of the Black Tech History that just doesn’t get told - people who made significant contributions to technology, but never received the name recognition.

People like Granville Woods, known as the “Black Edison” who was a pioneer in the field of telecommunications.

Or Otis Boykin, whose patented precision resistors were used in TV, radio, and even the first IBM computers.

And there was Melba Roy Mouton, a more hidden “Hidden Figure” who was also one of the very first human “computers” for NASA.

These black innovators, just as the black folks paving their way into new technologies today, are critical to the evolution of our tech landscape and the everyday technologies we now take for granted.

Our hope is that this month is not the only time that you spend getting to know the stories of the incredible contributions black men and women have made, and continue to make, in the field of technology and code.

(Black Tech History artwork generated by Midjourney AI)

This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time we honor the contributions of African-Americans and reflect on their impact on history and society. We are highlighting four Black STEM innovators, spanning from app builders to climate change warriors. We also want to take this month to remember that there are large parts of history that go untold in schools and society, and that should be shared all year long.

Anthony & Janique Edwards

In 2016, the husband and wife duo had just moved to Brooklyn and realized they had no means to cook or store food. They decided to create an app, EatOkra, for users to highlight and explore Black businesses in their communities. The app has grown over the years and as of 2022, they have a national database with 9,500+ listings servicing 350,000 people. Their mission is to, “support a vibrant community of consumers and business owners that honors and preserves the culinary heritage and history of the African diaspora.”

Dr. Earyn McGee

Dr. McGee studies reptiles and amphibians, specifically lizards in the Southwest US, focusing on the effects of climate change on these animals. She is also a mentor to the next generation of conservationists and is an advocate for the increase in diversity in the STEM fields. You can check her out on social media (@Afro_Herper) where she has her famous #FindThatLizard campaign, aiming to help make science fun and accessible.

Damilola Awofisayo

Awofisayo is the founder of TecHacks, an app to produce a supportive environment for female and non-binary students everywhere to create, problem-solve, and showcase their talents alongside like-minded individuals to compete and work with. She is a sophomore at Duke University and was inspired to create this app by seeing the lack of diversity in the computer science and hackathon space. Awofisayo states, “I focus on entrepreneurial, innovative ventures that focus on women’s empowerment of marginalized communities, whether Black individuals, low income, people in rural areas, anything like that.”

Check out this website to learn more about other Black app creators and innovators!

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