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Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

BLKulture Presents: Tech Innovators In Living Color

New ‘BLKulture’ Docuseries Shines Spotlight on the Dual Realities of Black Tech Pioneers

In our ever-evolving digital world, the faces of those who contribute to society’s technological advances are often diverse but not always visible. 

Macon, known as ‘the Heart of Middle Georgia,’ is home to a scattered community of Black tech professionals, contributing to both the greater Macon community and society’s advancements of technology. 

Macon Black Tech, a local community incubator dedicated to creating a safe space for individuals in Middle Georgia to co-create through technology and innovation in a collaborative culture, has partnered with the Reg Murphy Center for Collaborative Journalism to present a limited docuseries, ‘BLKulture’: Building Lasting Konnections in Tech. 

While performing in their respective roles, a select few of these professionals are also entrepreneurs, working to grow their own technologically based businesses and break barriers, creating space for other minority professionals to enter and succeed in the tech industry. 

“What distinguishes us as black tech professionals, is the fact that sometimes we may have felt like we were given the shorter end of the stick, because not many black people were entering tech,” Jae Madison, Warner Robins Analyst and co-owner of Exodus Photography and Loft-E said. “And all of a sudden, when we started to [enter the tech industry], it became a problem for many, not realizing that [African Americans] are the originators of so much in this tech industry. So I will say, being a Black tech professional is amazing and it’s innovative, because we’re constantly bringing more and more to the table.”

The first episode of BLKulture highlights five tech professionals turned entrepreneurs, all hailing from Macon, Georgia. Jae and Teddy Madison, Alex Givens, Yasmeen Hill, and Roderious (Rod) Phillips explore their careers, challenges, and opportunities, all while shedding light on their dual roles as professionals in the technology industry and African-American people. 

Each participant in BLKulture’s first episode explains their nuanced experiences of being Black in the tech industry, and how that intersection has impacted their career. 

“Being a Black woman in a technical field is hard,” Yasmeen Hill, freelance digital creator and video production manager, said. “I could smile and say that it’s super easy all the time, and that you never run into problems, but the problems that we run into socially exist, both in work and in interpersonal relationships.”

In each case, the reality of being Black in the tech industry presents unique challenges such as being a minority in the field, facing scrutiny of credentials/experience, and enduring a lack of representation. However, despite the challenges they face, these dedicated professionals continue to press forward in hopes of achieving success in their field. 

“When I first enter any room, until I actually prove myself, nobody actually just assumes that I know what I’m doing,” Alex Givans, owner of JamTeck Electrical said. “So instead of giving 100%, I have to give 105% in every room I enter. I have to be very sharp and very well educated for my work to speak for itself.” 

“Sometimes even my expertise is called into question,” Hill said. “That’s something that I think regardless of your industry, a lot of Black women still have to combat. Sometimes I will give professional advice, and someone will go behind me just to make sure I know what I’m talking about. Regardless of my education, regardless of my publications, regardless of my awards and my honors, they’ll see [me] and they just won’t trust [me].” 

By showcasing the triumphs and tribulations of African American professionals navigating the technology industry, BLKulture aims to expose and address these challenges, empower the next generation, and redefine the narrative surrounding diversity in technology. 

“This industry is about 70% white. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I do know that African Americans [make up about] 7%,” Roderious Phillips, photographer, filmmaker, and owner of RodFilms said. “But [being a part of this industry] means a lot because I get to allow myself to show people what I had to grow up on. I want to be able to show the happy moments and the happiness in things, and not just the negatives.”

In a world where representation matters, these bold individuals are ready to stand as trailblazers, shaping the future of technology and leaving a lasting legacy in their industry. 


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