• Benjamin Banneker
    Tech History

    Benjamin Banneker – Black History Month

    Benjamin Banneker is best known as the first black astronomer in the US, but was also an almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer.¬†He paved the way for modern astronomers like¬†Neil deGrasse Tyson (Director of the¬†Hayden Planetarium)¬†and Harvey Washington Banks (First African American to receive his PhD in Astronomy). Education Education at the time was not accessible to Blacks, but his family taught him to read using the Bible. An anti-slavery Quaker school opened that allowed black people to enroll, and Banneker would enroll and learn mathematics as well as how to write. (Fun fact: his teachers changed his last name from Bannaky to Banneker!) His appetite for knowledge would eventually…

  • Bessie Coleman
    Tech History

    Bessie Coleman- Black History Month

    Bessie Coleman the first woman of African-American descent and the first of Native American descent, to hold a pilot license as well. Early Life Bessie Coleman was born in 1892, in Texas to George Coleman, who was mostly¬†Cherokee¬†and part African-American, and Susan Coleman, who was African-American. She would go through great lengths to get an education, and every year, her regular routine would include the cotton harvest. At the end of graduation, she would enroll at¬†the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University), but drop out due to finances. In 1915, she moved to Chicago , where she began¬† reading stories of¬†World War I¬†pilots, which sparked her interest…

  • John W. Thompson
    Tech History

    John W. Thompson – Black History Month

    Mr. John W. Thompson, is best known as the second chairman of Microsoft and the first African-American in that position. He was also the CEO of Symantec until his retirement in 2009. Education Thompson received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida A&M University¬†(1971) and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management¬†(1983). Career Thompson started out at IBM in 1971, where for 28 years, working his way up the ranks and worked in positions, including senior executive positions in sales, marketing and software development, and lastly as general manager of IBM Americas and member of the Worldwide Management Council. He became the CEO of Symantec in 1999, where he…

  • Euphemia Lofton Haynes
    Tech History

    Euphemia Lofton Haynes- Black History Month

    Euphemia Lofton Haynes became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1943.¬†She was the first woman to chair the DC School Board, and was central to the integration of the DC public schools. Education After graduating from M St. High School in 1907 and Miner Normal School in 1909, Haynes went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Smith College.¬†Haynes received a master’s degree in education from the University of Chicago, and soon after, founded the math department at¬†Miner Teachers College.¬†She earned a Ph.D. degree in mathematics‚ÄĒmaking her the first black woman to do so‚ÄĒfrom the Catholic University of America. Career Haynes…

  • George Carruthers
    Tech History

    George Carruthers – Black History Month

    George Carruthers¬†is an¬†African-American¬†inventor,¬†physicist, and¬†space scientist, best known for creating inventions such as the ultraviolet camera, or spectograph, which was used by NASA in the 1972 Apollo 16 flight. Education As one of only a handful of African-Americans competing in Chicago’s high school science fairs, he won three awards, including first prize for a telescope that he designed and built, of which he was inspired by his late father to compete in. In 1957, Carruthers graduated from Chicago’s Englewood High School and entered the engineering program at the University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus with a focus in aerospace engineering and astronomy. He would continue his education there, receiving his masters and…

  • Dr. Alexa Canady
    Tech History

    Alexa Canady – Black History Month

    Dr. Alexa Canady is considered one of the many black woman game changers in STEM! She is best known as the first woman and¬† African-American neurosurgeon in 1980. She would dedicate her life to pedriatic patients in several states until she retired in 2001. Education Canady was raised in Lansing, Michigan,¬†where she and her brother were only two African-American students in their school. They faced obstacles through their years, however, Canada stood out from her peers, and even nominated as a¬†National Achievement Scholar.¬†Dr. Canady attended the University of Michigan where she received her B.S. degree in zoology.¬†She later received her M.D. with cum laude honors from the University of Michigan…

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