The History of Black Women Who Influenced Technology & Design Today

    There is a diverse group of trailblazers whose work has altered the digital terrain; they are all part of the ever-changing realm of design and technology, where imagination and invention meet. Black women are an often-overlooked yet very influential group of pioneers. Their stories are tales of perseverance, genius, and dogged persistence, even if they are sometimes pushed to the margins of history. Graphic design, computer-aided design (CAD), 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), and tools to remove background from image for 3D experiences are some areas where Black women have made significant impacts.

    Six Black Women Who Remove Background From Images

    In a drama, for example, the background may be the landscape or a character's history, both of which are there but not front and center. An unseen power that influences events is another possible meaning. Here, we see the example of Black women who have affected technology and contributed much to the innovation culture in the United States throughout history. These trailblazers are planting the seeds of innovation that will eventually bear fruit in new areas of research and technology.

    As we celebrate Women's History Month, it is fitting to pay respect to the remarkable Black women who have played a key role in creating our modern world. From improving hairbrushes, improving tools to remove background from image, and laying the groundwork for 3D technology to establishing Black Girls CODE and overseeing image processing for NASA Landsat satellites, these incredible trailblazers are constantly changing the world and shattering stereotypes. Get lost in their narratives; they will motivate and encourage you.

    Sylvia Harris

    Black women have had a lasting impact on graphic design, a field that relies heavily on visual narrative. It is worth reflecting on the extraordinary life of Sylvia Harris, an innovative graphic designer whose groundbreaking work revolutionized the information design sector. Harris was a trailblazer in her attempts to simplify and make accessible large datasets, which allowed more people to comprehend and engage with the information. The many designers she influenced and the causes she fought for ensure that her name will endure.

    Dr. Lisa Gelobter

    The efforts of Black women have transformed the area of computer-aided design (CAD). A pioneering entrepreneur and technologist, Dr. Lisa Gelobter was instrumental in creating the animation technology that allowed current CAD systems to be built. She paved the road for CAD improvements with her work on the animation software underpinning the legendary web browser Netscape Navigator, which allowed designers to realize their designs with unparalleled speed and accuracy.

    Renowned technology leader Lisa Gelobter has made significant contributions to both business and society in her role as Chief Digital Service Officer for the US Department of Education. Lisa understood early on that she would have to put in more effort than her classmates to make it in the world, having been born to immigrants herself. She worked relentlessly to save up for her computer science degree at Brown University, and she also worked while saving to pay for her own tuition.

    Gelobter was an engineer on Shockwave, Macromedia's early Internet-based interactive multimedia technology. She was also an integral component of the team that launched Hulu and contributed to the development of GIF animation technology.

    Gelobter has made a name for herself in the computer business thanks to her varied interests and experiences, which have had an impact on both experts and laypeople. Many young women look up to her as an inspiration because of her strong beliefs in equality and her entrepreneurial spirit. Lisa Gelobter's speeches on gender problems, social activity, and technology never fail to inspire and motivate listeners. If you are interested in scheduling her for an event, please contact the All American Speakers Bureau immediately. We can supply you with her profile, appearance costs, and more!

    Ayanna Howard

    Black women have been trailblazers in 3D printing, creating new possibilities and expanding our understanding of what is feasible in this field. Consider the work of the late Ayanna Howard, a prominent roboticist and entrepreneur whose seminal studies facilitated developments in 3D printing. Not only has Howard's research into AI and robotics transformed production methods, but it has also paved the way for novel uses in industries as diverse as healthcare and aerospace.

    Dr. Timnit Gebru

    Black women are already leading the way as innovators and visionaries in the dynamic field of AI and immersive experiences. Renowned computer scientist and AI ethicist Dr. Timnit Gebru has played a pivotal role in promoting diversity and inclusiveness in AI R&D. Her innovative research on fairness and prejudice in machine learning algorithms has sparked significant discussions in the tech sector, leading to the development of more just and moral AI systems.

    Katherine Johnson

    An outstanding mathematician, Katherine Coleman (Katherine Johnson), triumphed above gender and racial prejudice to become a pioneer in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Katherine, who was born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, was able to skip a few classes and finish high school when she was twelve years old. Katherine and her coworkers were tasked with developing safe methods of launching people into space when they were employed at Langley's Flight Research Division. Among the first women to join the Aerospace Mechanics Division, she worked relentlessly and used her persuasive speech to get access to meetings that had previously been reserved for men. Her legacy includes two daughters, six grandkids, and eleven great-grandchildren; she was recognized when Hidden Figures came out in 2017. Click here to learn about even more of her accomplishments.

    Valerie Thomas

    In the broadest sense an image is any two-dimensional figure, whether rendered manually in drawing or painting, by a graphic art (such as etching and lithography), or digitally. An image may convey information or emotions, for example the image of a child can invoke feelings of fear or sadness in the viewer. It can also be regarded as an object for spiritual or religious veneration, a symbol of wealth and power, or for its artistic value. An image can even be a piece of propaganda, for example the image of a celebrity is often used to promote an idea or product.

    Valerie Thomas, a Maryland native, first became interested in technology at the age of 8 when she picked up her father’s book The Boy’s First Book on Electronics and began learning about the mechanical parts that made televisions work. After graduating from high school she worked in her family’s hardware store and later attended a science seminar where she was exposed to the potential of 3D imaging. This was the beginning of her invention – an illusion transmitter that uses a pair of concave mirrors and rays of light to create optical illusions.

    The invention has since had a significant impact in everything from 3D images like Avatar to medicine. It has enabled the creation of holographic displays, virtual and augmented reality. It has also impacted the development of new types of lenses and screens that improve image quality.

    Rejoicing in Greatness:

    It is crucial to honor the struggles endured by Black women when we consider their accomplishments in the fields of technology and design. These pioneers showed incredible tenacity and resolve in the face of tremendous odds, whether it was overcoming institutionalized discrimination or creating whole new avenues of progress. Their tales show how far human creativity can take us when we stick with a problem until we find a solution.


    In conclusion, the history of Black women in technology and design is a testament to their resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Their contributions have shaped today's digital landscape and continue to inspire future innovators. As we look towards the future, let us celebrate and amplify the voices of these unsung heroes, ensuring that their legacy endures for generations to come.