Much of the present 21st-century high-tech innovations originated from the 1950s and 1960s. Today scientific inventions like computer programming languages, microchips, and satellites are the core foundation of tech devices and services we sometimes take for granted nowadays. In addition, technologies like smartphones, the internet, artificial intelligence, remote working, virtual learning, and the immense impacts of social media have drastically played a significant role in advancing our lives.
Many nonfiction books about technology and books based on the origins of Black Americans in the high-tech world specifically mention the era when technological innovations were revolutionizing and shaping the modern world while America was amid its 20th-century attaining civil rights movement. Many African-Americans made significant contributions in the technological fields and thrived in maintaining public policy and equal social cultures. But many African-American history books also describe the most concerning topics of how the advanced tech inventions came into the development process without considering the effects they had upon the lives of Black Americans.
African American Thriving Histories in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is renowned as the main hub for technological and scientific innovation. However, the Black American pioneers of modern technology and innovators who were integral in revolutionizing this industry are less recognized and usually absent from many public records and data. This blog post will discuss the most prominent figures that made a significant difference in the high-tech world and how Black inventors triumphed in Silicon Valley’s histories.
Roy L. Clay Sr:
Clay is one of the major founding directors of ROD-L Electronics, situated in Menlo Park, California. The corporation is renowned not just for its high-tech innovations but also for its community work. Clay conclusively designed the dielectric withstand or high potential (hipot) safety test. Back in 2002, Clay was also nominated by the African American Library and Museum at Oakland as among the most important African-Americans working personalities in the high-tech field. San Mateo County bestowed ROD-L Electronics the Dads Count Family Friendly Employer Award, which is how Clay was inaugurated into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame in 2003.
Clay was also involved with many local politics and was the first African-American to join links with the city council of Palo Alto. He was also nominated Vice Mayor in 1976. Clay is also an author and wrote his phenomenal memoir: Unstoppable: The Unlikely Story Of A Silicon Valley God Father, which describes his life struggles and greatest triumphs as he surfaced the path for readers to get inspiration and always stay strong in pursuing their ambitions.
Kathy is currently working to bring forward and endeavoring to shed light upon the history and origins of African-Americans participating in the field of Technology. Kathy initiated her professional life working as an HR for multiple startup businesses and concluded her career at Hewlett Packard. Before Kathy retired from Hewlett Packard, she started resuming her studies in a digital presentation at the Digital Media Academy on the Stanford University estate. Kathy then completed three biographies and several vanity videos for family and friends, including short advertisements for organizations. Her newest documentary is A Place at the Table, a biopic presenting the African American innovators of Silicon Valley.
Rodney initiated working at Stanford in 1986. Back in 2019, he was elected as the first Program Lead for the People of Color in Technology (POC-IT) empathy group under the IDEAL IT enterprise. Presently he is the Emeritus Lead for the Program and is dedicated to changing the situation to a better notable degree on the mutually released CIO Council and POC-IT Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Action. Two determinations from the Commitment to Action are the Explore Careers in Technology Event (ExCITE) and the Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI).
Henry is the Harold C. Hohbach Warden at Stanford University, accountable for the history of technology, science collections, media, and film assortments in the Stanford Archives. He has diverse interests in technological and scientific inventions and the history of digital gameplays and recreations to head numerous long-term assignments at Stanford. He is the author of several essays and books on the origins and history of Silicon Valley and the advancement of digital game technology. In addition, he is integral to the oral history club for the “Histories of African Americans in Silicon Valley” assignment at Stanford Public library.
Alesia is a Ph.D. and an ethnographer who works hard as the major subject expert for psychology, sociology, and qualitative data collection at Stanford Libraries. Her novel, Greening the Black Urban Regime: The Culture and Commerce of Sustainability in Detroit (Wayne State University Journalists, 2020), narrates the tale of the determination and fight to shape green revitalization in Detroit. She is also part of the oral history club for the “Histories of African Americans in Silicon Valley” assignment at Stanford Public library.
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