Trailblazers in Tech and Telecommunications: Honoring African American Innovators and Their Impact

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and honor the contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout history. Today, we’d like to shine a light on some of the many notable African Americans who have made significant impacts in the tech and telecommunications industries:

Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) was a prolific inventor and self-taught engineer who received over 50 patents, including one for the multiplex telegraph, which allowed telegraph communication between moving trains.

Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922–1999) was a nurse who invented a home security system, which became the prototype for modern closed-circuit television systems.

Shirley Ann Jackson (1946–) is a physicist and engineer who became the first Black woman to earn a PhD from MIT and later went on to lead research at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Mark Dean (1956–) is a computer engineer who played a major role in developing the IBM personal computer and was instrumental in the creation of the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) system bus.

Gladys West (1930–) is a mathematician and computer scientist who was instrumental in the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS)

These individuals represent just a few of the countless Black Americans who have made groundbreaking contributions to our industry, often against astounding odds! Their impact deserves acknowledgement far beyond Black History Month, as their legacies pave the way and inspire future generations to continue striving for excellence.


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