Technology And The Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT


Technology And The DreamFor my generation when we think of a prominent African American that graduated from MIT we more than likely remember Dr. Randall Pinkett who won season four of the Apprentice. Come to find out this prestigious university of Science, Engineering and Technology has trained and graduated some of the black community’s best and brightest minds.

The Technology And The Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941-1999 by Clarence G. Williams gives us insight into the trials, tribulations, and successes of black students at MIT. This book grew out of the Blacks at MIT History Project, whose mission is to document the black presence at MIT. The main body of the text consists of more than seventy-five oral history interviews, in which the interviewees assess their MIT experience and reflect on the role of blacks at MIT and beyond. 

Each interviewee was asked to discuss family background; education; role models and mentors; experiences of racism and race-related issues; choice of field and career; adjustment to the MIT environment; MIT students, faculty, and staff; advice to present or potential MIT students. Each interview also includes biographical notes and pictures.

A recurrent theme throughout the book is that MIT’s rigorous teaching instills the confidence to deal with just about any hurdle in professional life, and that an MIT degree opens many doors and supplies instant credibility. In retrospect, I wish I would have gone with my heart and applied to MIT for my undergraduate studies, but I allowed the fact that I would have to pay out-of-state fees to deter me from applying. Nonetheless, if you’re a present or potential MIT student, in Information Technology or simply a lover of black history, make this book a part of your library.

Mikey Digital



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