As a Black person who has worked in the technology sector for two decades, I can attest to the value of community. When you often find yourself at companies and tech events where no one else looks like you, knowing there is a place where others can relate to you is powerful. Having a community is particularly useful in an industry that has demonstrated difficulties in hiring people like you.
There are several Slack groups for Blacks who work in the technology industry. They all create valuable safe spaces, but each one approaches community in a difference way. Since these are Slack groups, most are closed and require an invite to join. However, several have created signup forms that you can use to get an automatic invite.
Here are a few of the Slack groups for Black technologists.
Young Black Austin
The Young Black Austin Slack team has been around for a while and has over 900 members. While the focus of the group is on events around Austin, since the Capital City is a major technology hub, there are often ongoing conversations about the tech scene. Their #sxsw channel is a treasure trove of information, and I think it is a great resource in the months leading up to the conference.
You can join the Young Black Austin Slack group here.
Black Men in Tech
Founded by Wayne Sutton, this group focuses on building a community for Black men who work in technology. It has more than 400 members. Given the founder’s expertise in entrepreneurship, a lot of the discussions are around starting and running technology companies. Wayne also has regular Ask Me Anything (AMA) events with tech heavyweights like Tristan Walker.
You can join the Black Men in Tech Slack group here.
Started by Maurice Cherry, this Slack group is a companion community for Maurice’s excellent Revision Path podcast. This Slack group has over 200 members, and most conversations have a design and product management slant. However, the group also has many great resources for tech professionals.
You can join the Revision Path Slack group here.
Blacks in Technology
Greg Greenlee created this Slack group as a companion community for his Blacks in Technology (BiT) site. There are over 600 members in the BiT Slack group, and the discussions are usually deeply technical.
You can join the BiT Slack group here.
The Joy of Black Tech Communities
I’m happy to have so many communities for Black professionals, especially in the tech space. I have found them to be great places to have conversations about the issues and perspectives of the Black experience in technology.
If you know of other Black Slack teams, please contact me, and I’ll update this post.