Tuesday, May 28, 2024

ATT Celebrates the Past, Present, and Future of Black History

Check out AT&T’s original blog here

Although invisible to the public eye, Lewis Latimer was a colleague of Alexander Graham Bell. Bell is known for inventing the telephone and the company that would later become AT&T. However, many are unaware that it would not have been possible without Latimer, the Black man who helped draft the drawings for the original telephone patent. His contributions made it possible to invent the telephone and changed the world forever.

Times have drastically changed since Latimer sat at the drafting board almost 150 years ago. Along the way, there have been changemakers who carried on with his work. People like Jesse Russell. Russell brought the world closer together when he led the first Bell Laboratories team that introduced digital cellular technology in America. Being able to call anyone from anywhere in the world is a direct result of his work. His inventions changed the world we know, forever.

Also incredibly important were Emmit McHenry and Tyrone Grigsby, the two owners of Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI). NSI is a Black-owned company that played a crucial role in launching the internet worldwide.

And let’s not forget about Marian Croak, one of the first Black women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Remote work would not be a possibility if not for Croak’s work on what we now commonly refer to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

AT&T honors its legacy by improving connections so that technological advances can reach everyone around the globe. AT&T has made unprecedented investments in our fiber and 5G wireless networks and they’re working diligently with governmental organizations to make sure everyone has access to those resources.

They are also aware that there is a need to encourage and support the next generation of Lewis Latimers and Marian Croaks. That is why they have chosen to contribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), spend$3 billion with Black-owned suppliers, and continue their Dream in Black initiative.

They have also chosen to celebrate the accomplishments of the pioneers by becoming one of the first corporate sponsors of the NAACP Image Awards.

In their own words: “Let’s continue to work together to “well improve our present opportunity” to expand connectivity and to build a brighter, more connected future for us all. After all, our humanity is in our connections.”