Thursday, February 29, 2024

Get The Scoop On Blacks Who Were Leaders In Developing Computer - Internet - and Digital Technology

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Tech Pro And Griot Pierre Clark Shares
Chips Off The Ole Block
Outstanding Black Computer
Internet & Digital Pioneers

Column: Did You Know…About Black People?(™) by Pierre A. Clark, Founder, Creative Services Multimedia LLC Founder/Convenor, Digital Excellence Consortium, Inc. Managing Partner: NuFutures Development Ventures LLC.

As we come to the conclusion of this Black History Month, we continue to rightly celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people in areas of life from sports and entertainment to culture, literature, science and many other areas. But there are areas to which we have and continue to make profound contributions that are not spotlighted as much but should be.

How many of you, for example, know about the profound connection of the creation, development and proliferation of the technology tools we use every day to the creative efforts and entrepreneurialism of black people? 

Did you know that several of the largest tech companies in the world are owned by blacks and were/are developed by blacks? 

Did you know that many of the technology tools and resources we depend on every day (Internet protocols, the ISA bus, graphics cards) were created and developed and perfected by black people?

Here are some capsule descriptions and references to black technology pioneers and black people of note, past and present.

Emmit McHenry: was the founder and President of Network Solutions, Inc. which was the first and at the time only Internet domain name registrar and created and pioneered many of the protocols used every day on the Internet - domain names or URLs - Universal Resource Locators, IP (Internet Protocol) Addresses, and DNS (Domain Name Servers) among others. McHenry’s company was a government contractor at the time and he continually struggled to keep his company funded. He eventually sold his company to Verisign who was able to turn it into a $21 billion enterprise.

Emmit McHenry Courtesy The Business Journals

David Steward is the founder and majority owner of World Wide Technology, the 27th largest privately held company in the U. S. and the largest black-owned company in the country, which grosses $17 billion a year. David has a personal net worth of $7.6 billion in 2024, according to Forbes Magazine. World Wide Technology provides comprehensive IT services to thousands of companies nationwide and worldwide.

David Steward

Philip Emeagwali Credited as the father of the Internet, Philip Emeagwali's greatest achievement, that warranted him the most praise, was The Connection Machine. The Connection Machine utilizes 65,000 computers linked in parallel to form the fastest computer on Earth. This computer can perform 3.1 billion calculations per second.

The first Nigerian to make it to top 10 people with highest IQ in the world. Philip Emeagwali has an IQ of 190. Philip Emeagwali was one of two winners of the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize.


Philip Emeagwali - Courtesy Wikipedia

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Robert F. Smith - is the billionaire founder of Vista Equity Partners, an enterprise software development company, with over $101 billion in assets under management. He has a personal net worth of $9.2 billion according to Forbes Magazine. He is the wealthiest Black American in the United States.

Robert F. Smith Courtesy Wikipedia

Marc Hannah

Mark Hannah was one of the 7 co-founders of Silicon Graphics, one of the pioneer chipmakers of the computer age. He designed the chips that pioneered 3D visualization and that were and are used in nearly every modern chip design and that powered the moviemaking magic in films like Star Wars, The Terminator and Jurassic Park. Born in Chicago and raised in the projects right down the street from IIT, Illinois Institute of Technology, Hannah received his Engineering Bachelor’s from IIT and his master’s and Ph.d from Stanford.

Marc Hannah

John Thompson

John Thompson was and is one of the pioneer technology executives of the technology age. He was president and CEO of several of the premier technology companies in the United States, including Symantec and Microsoft, and one of the country’s highest-paid executives.

John Thompson courtesy Wikipedia

Dr. Mark Dean

As of April 2022 only 331 people hold the distinction of being named an IBM Fellow, IBM’s (International Business Machine) highest technical honor, including 84 current employees. Dr. Mark Dean is one of their number.

Mark E. Dean (born March 2, 1957)[1] is an American inventor and computer engineer

Mark Dean helped shape modern computing.

He was chief engineer on the team that designed the original IBM PC in the early 1980s. He helped develop technologies, including the color PC monitor and the first gigahertz chip. With a colleague, he developed a system that allowed devices such as printers and monitors to be plugged directly into computers.

He developed the ISA bus, and he led a design team for making a one-gigahertz computer processor chip.[2]He holds three of nine PC patents for being the co-creator of the IBM personal computer released in 1981.[3] In 1995, Dean was named the first ever African-American IBM Fellow.[4

Dr. Mark Dean Courtesy IBM On Twitter

More Information And Sources

Emmit McHenry

David Steward

Philip Emeagwali, Supercomputer Creator

Robert F. Smith

Marc Hannah

John Thompson, Former President of Symantec And Microsoft

Dr. Mark Dean, IBM Fellow, Creator Of The IBM PC Motherboard

Seven More Prominent Black People Currently Operating Highly Successful Companies In The Technology Space 

Here’s a great article describing current black people who created, own and run some of the world’s most successful technology companies, courtesy of Bluehost, and curated by Desiree Johnson at Bluehost. They include: 

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson was one of the most important tech experts who worked for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Taraji P. Henson portrayed her and Her story was featured in the hit movie, “Hidden Figures”.

Katherine Johnson More On Wikipedia

Alan Emtage

Alan was the founder/creator of Archie, the world’s first Internet search engine and precursor to Google and all the others.

Jessica O. Matthews

Jessica O. Matthews’s company, Uncharted Power, uses its proprietary MORE technology as part of its quest to create larger infrastructural solutions. Uncharted Power aims to provide cost-efficient renewable energy for the developing world, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Caribbean.

Ralph A. Clark

Ralph A. Clark created Shotspotter, a detection, location, and forensic analysis program used at various police stations to help reduce urban gun crime, save lives, and keep cities safe.

Charley Moore

Charley Moore, founded Rocket Lawyer, which provides affordable and straightforward legal solutions for individuals and small businesses 

Tope Awotona

Tope Awotona is the founder, CEO and majority owner of of Calendly, a simple scheduling software tool that makes scheduling appointments, interviews, and demos much easier than using cumbersome email and phone reminders.

Tope Awotona

Marc Jones

Marc Jones’ company Aeris aids some of the largest businesses in the world. The company helpes empower companies to turn unconnected products into engaging end-user experiences through the Internet of Things

Source Resource 

Go To Blue Host Click Here


Did you know that in entertainment, we owe the overwhelming and widespread success of one of the greatest cultural and entertainment franchises of all time, Star Wars, to the efforts of a black man?

Ashley Boone was the first black executive at 20th Century Fox Who Was The Secret Weapon Behind Star Wars’ Success

Ashley Boone courtesy Hollywood Reporter

From Wikipedia

In 1964, Boone began marketing films,[3] through UA's international brand, where he oversaw releases such as Lilies of the Field (1963), Tom Jones (1963), and multiple James Bond films. Afterwards he had marketing jobs in CBS' film division, Sidney Poitier's production company, and for Motown mogul Berry Gordy, before arriving in 1974 at 20th Century Fox. Boone helped the success of movies such as Best Picture nominee Sounder (1972), wide releasepioneer Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), midnight movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and box office hits The Omen (1976) and Alien (1979). He is known for his 1977 campaign to market Star Wars (1977), which became the highest-grossing film of all time upon release.[2]

About Pierre Clark - Pierre Clark is a serial entrepreneur who has established several successful for-profit and non-profit entities as well as a technologist, technology and real estate development consultant. He is also a columnist and publisher. Reach Pierre at 312-970-0249, @pierreaclark on social media or e-mail

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