“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering”. – Lonnie G. Bunch III
It’s Black History Month! A month dedicated to the history and culture of African-American people in the US. This is a month celebrated to honor the achievements of the Black community.
The United States and Canada celebrate Black History Month in February as it coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, the former US President, and Fredrick Douglass, a national leader in the abolitionist movement.
Black history was first celebrated with a dedicated week in February 1926. This was started by Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History”. In the 1960s, this week, gaining popularity across African groups in the US, grew into Black History Month, or African-American History Month.
In 2019, 46.8 million people in the US identified themselves as Black. With the growing and diverse population of the Black community in the US, it is only fair that we celebrate this month with the utmost pride.
Speaking of pride, here are some inventors and creators who made the entire Black community proud with their ground-breaking innovations in the Digital world.
African-American Pioneers of the Digital World
The digital world has had many contributions from, and the acclamation of, notable people. Everything from cell phones to automated vacuum cleaners, technology has made our lives easier. We’re ever so grateful to the inventors and pioneers that helped make life-changing technology possible. What you may not have realized is how many of these notable pioneers were of African-American descent. Let’s take a look at some important inventions by them that changed the world.
Mark Dean is an inventor and computer engineer who co-created the IBM personal computer, which was released in 1981. This personal computer revolutionized computing in business as more and more industries started adopting it. In 1995, Mark became the first-ever African-American IBM Fellow, the highest honor that an engineer can achieve at IBM.
Ever heard of Black Girls Code? It is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing programming education to young African-American girls, founded by Kimberly Bryant. She is an electrical engineer who had the idea for BGC when she realized that most of the programming courses were directed at boys. She wanted better opportunities for her daughter. Thus began the journey that led her spot on “25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology” by Business Insider.
Image Source – San Francisco Chronicle
Marie Van Brittan Brown
Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse and also an innovator. She invented the video home security system along with her husband in 1966. “Necessity is the mother of invention” holds true in her case because she developed this security system as she had to spend nights alone at home without her husband. So if you were wondering where CCTVs came from, here’s your answer!
Granville T. Woods
Granville Woods was the man who invented a device that lets train stations communicate with moving trains, the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. This device was, surprisingly, only one of his inventions. He was the first African-American mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil war, and he had more than 50 patents. As a result, he was fondly referred to as the “Black Edison”!
Imagine you’re going somewhere, but you don’t know the way. What do you do? You use the GPS. You can thank Gladys West for it now! Her work on satellite geodesy models was eventually incorporated into the GPS, and she won the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021 at the 25th Annual Webby Awards. She was also inducted into the United States Air Force Hall of Fame in 2018.
James E. West
“Hello? Am I audible?” We’re sure you say these sentences almost daily, but what if there were no microphones?
James E. West is the inventor of the technology used in our modern microphones and holds over 250 US and foreign patents. Our phones, hearing aids, and camcorders also use this technology. So the next time you’re recording a video, you now know who to remember and thank!
While we talk about the Black people we are grateful for, there are some creators in our community we are so glad to have. Let’s take a look at some of the African American creators on Rizzle who are championing the short video creation space!
African-American Community on Rizzle
We at Rizzle believe in being yourself and building a strong, diverse community with all of our creators. The African-American community includes many amazing creators who make creative and helpful content regularly. Here’s a peek at some of our celebrated creators.
Are you familiar with the “Black Best Friend” trope in movies? Then you definitely need to check out Kellie Williams on Rizzle!
Kellie Williams and her series “Your Fat Black Sidekick” are sure to tickle your funny bone! Her witty and sarcastic takes on this specific representation of Black people in movies paint a clear picture of the stereotypes that exist in the industry.
U Go & Cosplay
U Go & Cosplay is the channel for you if you’re a fan of superhero movies! He’s a musician and coder who is a Marvel fan like many of us. He features cosplay as well as renditions of the Marvel themes on his channel.
Watch him play the “Spectacular Spiderman” theme music on the Piano! Talk about the perfect tribute to the Spider-verse!
Looking for some baking tips or shocking murder stories? Kisha is your go-to creator for both!
She is an actress, comedian, and cat lover! And who doesn’t like cats? She makes videos on baking, motivation, and also has a series called “Murder In A Minute.” You should definitely check that out if you enjoy true crime series as much as we do! But for now, watch her make a boxed cake taste like a homemade one baked from scratch!
The importance of Black History Month is undeniable for people of every culture within the Black community. This diversity brings forth various ways of celebration and a chance to revisit their history while also anticipating future possibilities.
Through generations, Black History Month has been an inspiration for Black folks worldwide. And in the words of Ava DuVernay, “When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.”
To follow the journey of some of our awesome creators showcased above, Get on Rizzle! Try now!