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Black History Month: 5 Tech Innovations by Black Inventors


Black history is American history, and Black History month shines a light on the many contributions of so many Black people in the country that, for so long, did not have a flashlight.


President Gerald Ford said it best:

“Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”


The tech industry is no exception. Read on to learn about five tech innovations by Black Inventors! 


Lisa Gelobter 

⇒ Field: Computer Science
⇒ Tech Invention: GIF (graphic interchange format) Animations
⇒ Set the foundation for the animation used in the creation of GIFS on the original shockwave team


Lisa Gelobter

Photo Credit: @afglobalradio


Dr. Marian Croak

⇒ Field: Engineering
⇒ Tech Invention: VoIP
⇒ Credited for switching wired Technology to internet protocol
⇒ Holds over 200 patents and currently serves as the VP of Engineering at Google


Marian Croak


Gerald Lawson

⇒ Field: Game Developer
⇒ First video game console with a microprocessor and changeable cartridge
⇒ He is known for his work in designing the Fairchild Channel F video game console as well as leading the team that pioneered the commercial video game cartridge


Gerald Lawson


Dr. Marc Regis Hannah

⇒ Field: 3D graphics/Mathematics
⇒ Tech Invention: Geometry Engine
⇒ This was a computer chip/processor that improved 3-D image manipulation, allowing a computer user to easily see an image from multiple angles
⇒Special Effects were widely used in Jurassic Park, Aladdin, Terminator 2, Beauty and The Beast, and other films by George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg




Frederick McKinley Jones

⇒ Field: Mobile refrigeration
⇒ Tech Invention: automatic refrigeration system for long haul trucks and railroad cars
⇒ In addition to that refrigerator invention, Jones also invented an air-conditioning unit for military field hospitals, a refrigerator for military field kitchens, a self-starting gas engine, a series of devices for movie projectors and box-office equipment that gave tickets and made change 

⇒ Awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991—the first Black inventor to ever receive such an honor


Frederick Jones

Photo credit: USDA/Wikimedia


Follow UAT for more Black History Month articles and resources throughout the month.



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