Black International Business Machines Experiences
Over many decades International Business Machines (IBM) has been a leader in computer science and engineering. Although they have been criticized for their contributions to the Nazis during WWII, IBM has strived to be diverse company even before the Civil Right movement of 1964. In 1947 IBM hired John Stanley Ford, making him the first Black American software engineer. It’s puzzling to believe that IBM could work with the Nazi during that unspeakable time period, to be clear it was IBMs’ German subsidiary and they discontinued their work with the Nazis when America entered the war. Later, Thomas J. Watson (CEO IBM) returned a medal presented to him by the German government for their advancements.
Dr. Mark Dean Ph. D is another pioneer in computer engineering hired by IBM. Mark Dean, a co-creator for IBM’s first personal computer released in 1981. Mark Dean is the owner of 3 of the 9 patents used in computers today. Mark was part of teams that developed the color PC monitor and the first gigahertz chip. His achievement earned him the Black Engineer of the Year award in 1997 and was also entered into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
John and Mark are just two of the many African American pioneers in computer science. We must remember that through hard work and dedication, dreams become reality. The world of computers is growing and there is room for many more great achievements. We thank these men for the role they played in creating opportunities for black African Americans in the computer science profession.