The year that the Giants played the Colts in the 1958 NFL championship, Roy Clay Sr. came to Silicon Valley to program the world’s fastest computers at Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.
Before the first Super Bowl, Dr. Frank Greene already had a patent for the fastest semiconductor memory system.
On Feb. 2, 2009, the Super Bowl for African-Americans in technology, the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, begins with an exhibition in Palo Alto, CA City Hall at 250 Hamilton.
We can’t accomodate 100,000 screaming fans, but we hope millions take advantage of the power of their example to motivate their career choices and educational pursuits. We’ve been doing this since 1999 every year to counteract the perception that African-Americans are strangers to the scientific and technical pursuits.
At blackmoney.com, each day, we’re featuring profiles of some of the 50 Most Important. Currently, find James Vinson, our pick for the Ron Jones Innovator of the Year and chairman of V-Chaiin Solutions; Lori Perine, senior vice president of TrueCarbon.com; Darrell Freeman, CEO of Zycron Inc. and Jerry L. Davis, deputy chief information officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
To learn more about the important role of blacks in technology, as well as the future prospects throughout the Diaspora, several of our titles are helpful. Success Secrets of Black Executives, published in 1992, was based on the Black Executive Forums held monthly in Silicon Valley in the late 1980s and early 1990s, among high-achieving technology execs. The Black Students Internet Guide is an annotated guide to web sites which enhance education for learners of African descent. Our Roots Run Deep, the Black Experience in California, Vol. 3, 1950-2000, describes the early black pioneers of Silicon Valley such as Clay and Greene. The Black Queen: How African-Americans Put California on the Map provides lesson plans for teachers on infusion of culturally-responsive content into the daily classroom experience.
Feb. 1 is National Freedom Day, an observance begun after the adoption of the 13th Amendment. Our freedom in this new millennium not only depends on voting and elections, but our ability to master the technologies of the future.
With an administration committed to forward-looking strategies, each of us should be encouraged to become as familiar as possible with the roads to success which run through high technology. For every high-paid athlete on the field, there are thousands more African-American information technology workers. But there are still not enough yet.