Willa Brown (Jan. 22, 1906 – July 18, 1992)
In 1936, Brown became the first woman to obtain a private pilot’s license in the U.S. She was part of the National Airmen’s Association of America in 1939 whose sole purpose was to integrate army so that Black pilots could get the chance to fly. In her military career, Brown was an advocate for all Black pilots male or female. Brown became the head of the Civilian Pilot Training Program in Chicago where Black pilots were selected for the Tuskegee training program. She went on to become a coordinator for the Civil Aeronautics Authority and a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Women’s Advisory Board.
Janet Bragg (March 24, 1907 — April 11, 1993)
Bragg was the first woman admitted to Curtiss-Wright School of Aeronautics in Chicago in 1928 and to hold a commercial pilot’s license. Bragg was rejected from four different organizations based on race. This rejection may have lead to her second career path as a registered nurse. After graduating from Spelman College, Bragg went to Illinois and continued practicing as a nurse until becoming an insurance health inspector in 1941.
Dorothy Layne McIntyre (b. Jan. 27, 1917)
At 22 years-old, Layne McIntyre became the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). She ended up going into aircraft mechanics at the Baltimore War Production school.
Carrie Mae Weems (b. April 20, 1953)
Weems has been a photographer and artist since the 1965 and her work has been featured in over 50 exhibits throughout her career. In 1983, she created her first collection of photographs and spoken word called, Family Pictures and Stories. Some of her other works include, Sea Island Series (1991-92), the Africa Series (1993), From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried (1995-96), Who What When Where (1998), Ritual & Revolution (1998), the Louisiana Project (2003), Roaming (2006) and others. Weems has earned many awards for her work, including becoming a MacArthur Fellow in 2013.
James Van Der Zee (June 29, 1886 – May 15, 1983)
Van Der Zee was a major artist in the Harlem Renaissance. During the 1920s, he documented some of the most famous Black people of the time, including Florence Mills, Hazel Scott, Marcus Garvey, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Countee Cullen and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Even though his work was popular, Van Der Zee never garnered major financial success. In the 1970s, he went back to portrait photography, photographing celebrities like Bill Cosby, Lou Rawls, Cicely Tyson and Jean-Michael Basquiat.
For the most dedicated gamers out there, a new gaming laptop can run from $1,500 to as much as $5,000. But having superior graphics and sound should not destroy you financially. Here are some high-quality gaming laptops that are under $1,500.
ASUS ROG G751JL-DS71 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop
Specifications: Latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 2GB GDDR5 Discrete Graphics,
Intel Core i7-4720HQ, 2.6GHz (turbo to 3.6GHz), 16 GB RAM (upgradable to 32 GB),
1000 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive (additional 2.5-inch bay to install secondary hard drive)
Why You Should Buy: This laptop has a sleek and clean design with a Blu-ray player, huge trackpad for your finger and game play, and a very high-quality ventilation system for long extended hours of play. Those looking for a high-quality laptop with high- and constant-resolution specs, this is a great buy.
In recent years, Virtual Reality has begun to dominate the tech and entertainment industry. For example, Oculus Rift has become a household name when it comes to VR, but it won’t hit shelves until next year. For those who can’t wait, there are cheaper and more accessible VR headsets. Here are a few.
Homido Virtual Reality Headset
Specifications: Virtual Reality VR Headset for 360 viewing and gaming, farsightedness and nearsightedness settings, optical settings adjustment 3D glasses, heavy duty design and compatible with most phones.
Why You Should Buy: The Homido Virtual Reality Headset is the most expensive headset on the list, mainly because it has the highest quality of design and durability. This headset comes with its own app made by the manufacturer, and has adjustable features that control the lenses. The great thing about this particular VR headset is that it can work with all other apps. Also, the high quality design has ventilation holes to help cool down your phone if overheated. For those who want a nice bridge to the Oculus Rift, the Homido Virtual Reality Headset is a great intermediary.
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has launched the application process for the inaugural year of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, the largest and most comprehensive scholarship effort in HBCU history. Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer. The scholarship program is open to students in their final year of study from all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI).
“There are “scholarships” and then there are “scholarship programs,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”
The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is the first of several programs under the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative. In March, Apple and TMCF announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of HBCU’s. The over $40 million multiyear commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs. The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.
“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCU’s to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”
The Scholars Program will provide students with a diverse and valuable set of learning and personal growth opportunities that include: a scholarship up to $25,000 for their senior year of studies; a summer internship at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round development program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple employee mentor during students’ senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their HBCU campuses to build awareness for the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; the opportunity to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, DC in November 2015; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion experience in Cupertino, California during the spring of 2016.
The application process is open now and will close on September 18, 2015. For information on the TMCF Apple Diversity Initiative, visit tmcf.org and follow @TMCF_HBCU on Twitter.
According to an Associated Press poll, Black and Hispanic Millennials are just as tech savvy as their white peers.
In a survey conducted by the Media Insight Project, 1,045 young adults from the ages of 18-34 reported their tech habits. This group which included 163 African-Americans and 162 Hispanics were the focus of the poll results.
“People of color are very wired and just as adept in using technology,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, which funded the study. “If you want a subject that hasn’t been covered in the mainstream, millennials have found ways to get at that information through community sharing more than traditional ways. The way they get news is heavily influenced by topic.”
The poll suggests that old trends do not apply to this new generation. Because of the increased availability of technology and devices like smartphones, tablets, and cheap affordable laptops people with lower economic means will have access to the technological revolution.
From the poll’s results, 41 percent of Blacks compared with 29 percent of whites and 24 percent of Hispanics will get their trending news from Facebook. The numbers show that 38 percent of Hispanics compared with 33 percent of Blacks and 20 percent of whites will go to Youtube for information and 30 percent of Hispanics compared with 45 percent of African-Americans and 19 percent of whites will go to Instagram.
These numbers show that Black people are extremely active on a variety of social media platforms.
“Streaming music, TV or movies is the most commonly cited online activity among African-Americans, while keeping up with what their friends are doing is the most commonly cited online activity among Hispanics. For white millennials, checking and sending email was most common,” reports Glynn A. Hill for the Associated Press.
This poll was created in January and February of this year and released this month.
Beginning in September, Marvel will be relaunching and introducing new and diverse titles in an initiative it calls “All New, All Different.” The bulk of the new titles will be released in November, but in the next two months there will be some cool surprises to check out.
‘Blade, The Hunter’
This new series will introduce the world to Blade’s AKA Eric Brooks’ daughter Fallon Grey. She is a 16-year-old high school student who lives in Oregon. She does not know that Blade is her dad until supernatural forces want to hunt her down. This title has been under the radar, compared to the other announcements, but sounds like a much-needed twist on Blade. Blade, The Hunter will be written by Tim Seeley, with art by Logan Faerber. The title will be on stands in October.
According to a Deadline report, veteran actress Alfre Woodard will join the cast of the next Marvel Netflix show Luke Cage. Woodard has had a long career as a stage, TV and film actress. This won’t be her first comic book adaptation.
She has voiced Dondi Reese in the 2009-10 animated Black Panther series. She also voiced Jean Hawkins in the early 2000s’ Static Shock.
She is rumored to play Black Mariah, the leader of the crime gang called the Rat Pack. Woodard would join Michael Colter, who will be the title character Luke Cage.
The project will be produced by Showtime’s Ray Donovan executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker who will also act as executive producer of the upcoming show.
The show does not have an official release date, but it likely will be available next year.
Black Girls Code was created to provide young Black girls with the necessary tools to become proficient in coding and computer science. As many people know, the tech industry lacks diversity in terms of race and gender, but this organization is chipping away at those barriers.
This summer, Black Girls Code (BCG) hosted the Summer of Code Camp that included project-based camps in the Bay Area as well as in Washington D.C., New York City and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Kimberly Bryant founded the organization in 2011 with the intention to teach and inspire Black girls to get into the tech industry. Since the organization’s inception, Bryant has taught more than 2,000 girls and has even started boys camps with the same mission.
The organization will be hosting a variety of events in August and well into September. A common workshop BGC hosts for girls is the Build a Web Page Day, which teaches young girls from the ages of seven to 17 how to design their own web pages using HTML and CSS. There are also panels on diversity in tech, such as the Women of Color in STEM Career Panel on August 22.
One of the big events that BGC will have is the Robot Expo on September 19 in Memphis and the BGC Documentary Film Screenings and Community Meetups. There is still time to get involved with the planned activities.
Visit Black Girls Code for more information.
Google wants the newest and latest API Vulkan in its new Android phones.
“Like the other low-overhead APIs, Vulkan promises to improve performance by providing more direct access to the GPU — developers can manage memory and multiple threads on their own rather than leaving it up to the driver, giving them more work to do but also providing more flexibility,” reports Andrew Cunningham for Arstechnica.com.
APIs is an abbreviation for application program interface. The API is responsible for memory and is a set of routines, protocols and tools used by developers to build software applications.
The Vulkan API was introduced in March by the Khronos Group. This system is similar to Metal and DirectX 12 in that it will require the use of an operating system and hardware support.
“Hardware and software companies need an open 3D API to maximize market reach and minimize porting costs, and Vulkan is being forged by a broad consortium of industry leaders to do exactly that,” said Khronos Group President Neil Trevett.
Google is still in the early stages of developing and implementing the new API. Best estimates have the API coming with the Android M by the end of the year. If history is any indication, Vulkan will have to be released when a new Android version is also released.