Great article by blksista! Here is the intro -you will have to visit her site to read it all. Those of you who are “tekkies” might want to add this, along with Subrealism to your list of black engineer’s blogs to check in on.
A couple of decades back, in the late Seventies and mid Eighties when I was living in Silicon Valley, there had been a couple of discrimination suits involving tech companies that I had been following. The black engineers involved also claimed they had the perception that blacks (or Latinos) entering or employed in this industry would be horning into what I would call the last bailiwick of white male endeavor in the United States. Therefore, the atmosphere or environment there could be stiffly hospitable to hostile. (During one economic downturn, one company had decided to let go of more white senior and intermediate, than minority, newly-trained junior engineers so as not to piss off the Feds; when this leaked out it caused even more division and animosity among hard-pressed employees.)
I do not recall off-hand the names involved and the dates or whether these suits had concluded in favor of the black engineers or the companies or a whether it resulted in a split decision; that is, a settlement for the engineers instead of rehire. I recall more the engineers’ contention of a hostile environment with white engineers who were jealously trying to hold on their jobs, seniority–and privilege.
I don’t think that this has changed in some twenty years.
Silicon Valley isn’t exactly becoming whiter – but it is becoming less black and Hispanic. Part of it has to do with Prop 209 limiting, and largely eliminating homegrown talent who might stay in the area to work. The second has to do with the environment, blacks are actively fleeing the San Francisco and Bay area as the established black communities are destroyed. Another is the penchant of some of the companies to hire cheap foreign labor under worker Visas, instead of developing the American native pool, or paying American Engineers of which there is no shortage. The VC community also hasn’t been overly friendly to black owned start ups, meaning there isn’t much of a base of black owned companies to coalesce and develop talent. Lastly for outside talent from other places – with traffic, the astronomical cost of housing, and the less than warm educational environment for your children – a job in the Sun Belt looks a lot more attractive to black Engineers and scientists.