Black History Month is celebrated in February to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Black Americans and their roles and impact in U.S. history. In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black American pioneers in tech. Our industry would be extremely different if it weren’t for their inventions, research, and perseverance. From inventors to innovators, here are a few of the Black Americans who shaped the industry into what it is today.

Kimberly Bryant – The founder of Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing computer programming and technology education for African-American girls, and an electrical engineer in biotech who has worked with Genentech and Pfizer.

Frank Greene – A scientist and venture capitalist who worked on the space shuttle program and ZeroOne Systems, and is considered one of the pioneers of semiconductor technology. Dr. Greene also created a scholarship program that supports African American Youth in STEM fields.

Janet E Bashen – The first black woman to receive a patent for a web-based software solution. Her invention, LinkLine, is an EEO case management tracking software.

Roy L. Clay – Known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley” and current CEO of ROD-L electronics, Clay was a founding member of the computer division at HP that created HP 2116A.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson – Conducted research in theoretical physics, solid-state and quantum physics, and optical physics at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Dr. Jackson is currently the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological university in the United States.

Emmitt McHenry – Co-founded Network Solutions, which was chosen to create and manage the world’s first domain name registration service. He created the code which allowed any person the ability to search the internet and use email services, officially creating what we now know as the .com, .net, .edu, and .gov top-level domains – allowing us to communicate through the internet.

Angela Benton – Founder and CEO of Streamlytics, which allows users to reclaim their data through revolutionary Universal Data Interchange Format technology.

Katherine Johnson – Mathematician and NASA employee who was critical to the success of the first (and subsequent) manned space flights, and pioneered the use of computers in doing that work. The space agency noted her “historical role as one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist.”

We encourage you to read up on these inspiring technology leaders to honor their accomplishments and contributions to the tech industry.