Black History Month UK 2021
Black History Month has landed in the UK. And, although the movement has been progressing for decades, you can still take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate black culture in the UK.
How to Celebrate Black History Month UK
There are several ways you could celebrate Black History Month 2021. You could check out black owned business. For example, check out the black owned bar that’s just opened near you or that new restaurant.
You can do some research for yourself on influential black people in your industry or field. Listen to UK podcasters and educate yourself on black culture, history and music.
Black People in Tech
At Amicus, we’re focused on all things tech. So, we’ve decided to spotlight 13 black pioneers in tech and post them across our socials every week. But, just incase you didn’t catch them on our Linked In, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, here’s a run down of some international black tech heroes.
13 Black People in Tech You Should Know
1. Dorothy Vaughan
Born September 20th 1910 in Kansas, USA, Dorothy Vaughan was NASA’s first African American manager and respected mathematician.
Dorothy was assigned to the ‘West Area Computing Unit’ where she was to work exclusively with other black mathematicians and use separate dining and bathroom facilities segregated from her white co-workers.
She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and was one of the figures included in the 2016 biographical film, Hidden Figures.
2. Evelyn Boyd Granville
Born in 1924, her family struggled through the great depression but Evelyn worked to get her education from Yale. She was the second African-American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics and was a pioneer in computing.
She went on to become a computer programmer at IBM where she worked on the Apollo missions. When she left IBM, Evelyn went into teaching and developed mathematics enrichment programmes for elementary school students.
Since 1967, she's been a strong advocate of women's education in tech. She was awarded various honorary degrees, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal and was honoured by the National Academy of Engineering. Evelyn is currently 97 years old and living in Tyler, Texas.
3. Jerry Lawson
Gerald Lawson was an American electronic engineer. His most notable contribution to the industry was leading the team that developed the video game cartridge.
After a long and successful #career, Jerry died in 2011 from diabetes complications.
This year, the Gerald A. Lawson Fund was founded. The fund supports black and indigenous students at the University of Southern California seeking careers in the #gaming industry.
In August, Microsoft began contributing to the fund.
4. Kathrine Johnson
Born in West Virginia in 1986, Kathrine was one of three black students picked to integrate her school in West Virginia.
She excelled at mathematics growing up and went into teaching at black schools until she was told about the opportunity for blacks in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics headed by fellow West Virginian Dorothy Vaughan.
Kathrine went on to work for NASA and helped on Project Apollo's Lunar Module as well as Space Shuttle.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015 at the age of 97 and died in February 2020 at 101 years old.
5. Roy Clay Sr
Roy Clay Sr is an American #computer #scientist and inventor. Born in 1929, he's a founding member of the computer division at Hewlett-Packard.
Growing up in Missouri, Roy was encouraged to leave his predominantly white town by the police. After being turned away from teaching because the school he interviewed at didn't "hire professional negroes", he taught himself to code.
He went on to lead the Computer Science division at Hewlett-Packard. In 2002, Clay was noted by the African American Museum and Library at Oakland as one of the most important African-Americans working in technology as well as being inducted into the Silicone Valley Hall of Fame in 2003.
6. Kimberly Bryant
Born January 14th 1967 in Memphis, Kimberly Bryant is a technologist who worked in biotechnology. Raised by a single mother, she earned a scholarship into Vanderbilt University in 1985 and earned her degree in Electrical Engineering.
In 2011, Bryant founded Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization after her daughter became interested in coding but found no suitable courses for her where they lived.
So far, Bryant has been named in the Top 25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology by Business Insider. And, in 2012, she received the prestigious Jefferson Award
7. Anne Easley
Born 1933 in Alabama, Annie J. Easley was and American Computer Scientist, mathematician and rocket scientist.
After working hard to get an education in a heavily segregated society, Easley became one of the first black women to work for NASA.
In February this year, a crater on the moon was named after her. She was also posthumously inducted in to the Glenn Research Hall of Fame in 2015.
8. Melba Roy Mouton
Melba Mouton was born in Virginia in 1929. She was an American mathematician. After excelling throughout her education, she gained a degree in mathematics followed by an MA in the same subject.
She began working at NASA in 1959 and was included in an advertisement in the Afro American magazine to showcase NASA’s diversity.
She received both an Apollo Achievement Award and an Exceptional Performance Award from NASA before she retired in 1973.
9. Clarence ‘Skip’ Ellis
Clarence ‘Skip’ Ellis was a computer scientist. He was part of the team who created the first personal computer and it’s relate innovations.
He went on to become a pivotal founder of the computer science course at the University of Colorado Boulder.
He also went on to express his passion for helping students of all ethnicities to expand their horizons and seek opportunities in science and computing by performing research focused on developing computer systems to simulate alternative forms of government for developing countries.
10. Mark Dean
Mark Dean is an engineer and computer scientist born in 1957. His main work helped develop iconic technologies for IBM such as the colour monitor and the first gigahertz chip.
He hold a third of the company’s original patents. Despite his incredibly successful career, he continued to educate himself and gained a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
In 1996, he became the first African-American to be made a fellow at IBM. He was also awarded the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award and was inducted in to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
11. Joy Buoalamwini
Joy Buoalamwini is a computer scientist who uses her research to illuminate the social implications of AI. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League has over 1.4 million views on her TED Featured Talk.
Her MIT thesis methodology uncovered racial and gender bias within companies like Amazon, IBM and Microsoft.
The result was these companies ceasing the sales of their facial recognition technology to law enforcement.
12. Abadesi Osunsade
Abadesi is a creative technologist and the first ever VP Global Community at Brandwatch.
She has been named in Forbes 25 Black British Business Leaders to Follow, The Dots 100 Trailblazers and Computer Weekly Top 50 Women in Tech.
13. June Angelides, MBE
June is an investor and public speaker from London and role model for working mothers. She was awarded an MBE for her services to Women in Technology in 2019.
June Angelides founded Mums in Tech while on maternity leave with her second child from Silicone Valley Bank.
She’s an advocate for mothers rights as well as helping underrepresented founders gain funding.