Black Girls Code tackles tech stereotypes
Breanna Collins was one of 14 girls who built a video game at the Black Girls Code session last fall.
December 16th, 2011
03:47 PM ET

Black Girls Code tackles tech stereotypes

Editor's note: Soledad O'Brien chronicles the journey of eight African-American entrepreneurs in "Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley" at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on December 18.

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

 (CNN) - Kimberly Bryant knows what it is to yearn and to succeed. The electrical engineer and mobile health technology entrepreneur works for pharmaceutical giant Novartis and is in the midst of launching her own company.

But she also knows what it’s like to be "the only one" - the only woman, the only African-American.

That's why Bryant started Black Girls Code, a volunteer organization in San Francisco that's dedicated to teaching young girls of color about computer programming and technology. She hopes they will be better prepared to experience that yearning and success instead of loneliness and isolation. By giving them an early intro into the world of computing, she hopes they'll see it as a potential career path.

"I want to have that exposure before they go to college so that they can have [computer science professions] as a choice when they go to college," Bryant said.

Bryant founded Black Girls Code in April and finished its first program this month. Fourteen girls from ages 6 to 13 spent six weeks learning about the basics of programming at the facilities of the 100% College Preparatory Institute in San Francisco. They also took trips to leading tech companies, including Facebook and Google. The girls used a computer language called Scratch to make a simple game, and to create graphics that illustrated each girl's name and personality.

It's a bit more kid friendly than a typical day at school.

"I really enjoyed being able to win candy AND learn to code," Kai Morton, 12, wrote in a blog post  about the KidsRuby code class. "I got so much candy that after a while the teacher asked somebody else to answer a question!"

In another blog post, 7-year-old Nailah Reynolds wrote, "The one thing I liked the least about my KidsRuby class was all that typing! What I liked the most was that I could learn to hack my homework!"

There has been so much interest in the program recently that Bryant changed her original plans to start the next session in March. Now, she’s gearing up for a session aimed at younger girls for January, followed by one for the older girls in March. And she’s keen to open branches of the program in other areas, including Atlanta, the East Coast and the Midwest.

Bryant said the name of her organization was chosen to emphasize its focus on girls of underrepresented minorities - particularly African-Americans, Latinas and Native Americans - and to distinguish it from other programs that tend to draw more white and Asian participants.

Black Girls Code participants Nailah Reynolds, 7, left, and Kai Morton, 12.

According to data collected by the National Center for Women in Technology, only 25% of computing-related jobs in 2009 were held by women. Only 2% of those women were African-American. Four percent were Asian, and just 1% were Latina.

Why is that a problem?

"One of the things that’s true about the computing talent pipeline in this country is that it's really in jeopardy," said Lucy Sanders, CEO of the National Center for Women in Technology. "With the degrees we’re granting now, we’re only going to graduate enough people to fill a third of the jobs … We’re not going to fill this talent pipeline if we only go to the places where we’ve always been traditionally looking."

Baratunde Thurston: 'Letter from a poor black kid'

The field needs diverse voices to serve an increasingly diverse population, Sanders said.

"Computing is a creative endeavor, and when you have a diverse set of voices at the design table, you’re going to have people creating technology in different ways than if it was a homogeneous group," Sanders said.

Lack of access to technology and computer science classes in schools and a lack of role models and mentors are among the barriers that make it difficult for women and people of color to enter - and stay in– computer and technology fields, according to the 2009 Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology report, "Obstacles and Solutions for Underrepresented Minorities in Technology." The report said educators might overtly or subconsciously steer them away from the sciences as a career, and some experience feelings of isolation and exclusion caused by being the only woman, minority, or minority woman in the workplace.

Another factor is tokenism, in which the person feels more closely scrutinized or more harshly judged because they are "the only one" in the organization.

Study: Innate gender gap in math is a myth

Black Girls Code aims to show girls who are used to being consumers of technology - on computers, tablets, mobile phones, iPods and gaming consoles - that they can have a role in creating it. But first, Bryant had to get some of them to throw out the outdated, stereotypical image of a computer programmer - a white, geeky man sitting alone, punching numbers into a keyboard in front of a dimly lit computer screen.

"That doesn’t resonate with most girls, especially elementary and middle school girls," Bryant said. "We do a lot of group work and pairs programming projects because they need that connection and collaboration. So that helps break down the stereotypes of always being alone."

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Filed under: Black in America • Education • Gender • Race • Technology • Who we are • Women
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Pharmc871

    Very nice site!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Pharmd792

    Hello! eacdekk interesting eacdekk site! I'm really like it! Very, very eacdekk good!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. SickofRacistBSLikeThis

    What a racist organization. I worked once for D.C. government and was the token white girl. I found blacks to be a thousand times more racist against whites than vice versa. This organization teaches black girls to be racist and to hate whites. It will hurt them in the end when they have to work in diverse workplaces.

    December 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vito

    This organization is no different than any other organization, it's not exclusionary or racist by any measure. You people on here are seriously small minded. No one would comment if this was a"Girls Code" organization, meant to teach only little girls how to code...or if this was an organization for the Sons of Eagle scouts, or even if it was an Asian Girls and boys code club. Read any article anywhere and you will see that the only time people jump up and scream racism...and the most vile and hate filled type...is when it is about black people. Read any similar article that is about any organization for women, or Asians, or any other group, and you will clearly see my point. Perhaps the only other time you will see such hatred is when its about gays. What makes you so angry that people are trying to give opportunities to people in their Community? Obviously, it is nice when organizations are open to everyone, and there are many of these types that are, but sometimes people are trying to focus on a problem they see in their own communities. Sometimes they see and feel that a certain portion of their population is isolated in some way, and so they seek to encourage participation by saying "this club welcomes young black girls, its for you." You bigots on here already know this, which brings me to my next point.

    In regards to all this bitter racism on here, I would like to point out that Racism is no different than bullying. They are one and the same. A bully seeks out someone they feel is helpless and defenseless and seeks to humiliate and exploit them, because they are different and ostracized. Realize that people are bullying you with their racism comments and be done with it. You can't change their mind, and who really cares anyway. Obviously the world is different today than it was in 50 years ago. Ignore bigots and excel in everything you do. That's all there is.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lizzard

    It's very sad that we still put everyone in their own catagory because of race. I can't wait for the day we as a society can grow up and realize no one's going anywhere and we ALL came from America and we are ALL Americans. I am so grateful to people like her who help get kids prepared for their future. African Americans along with many other minority children do not get treated the same & for people to be so ignorant that they cant see it is utterly ridiculous. Im a white woman who was raised in a poor part of Long Beach Ca, I was treated better than my best friends simply because I was white. When I stood up for them the 1st time I was suspended, the 2nd time I was expelled. Today the same school has a very different policy & I'm proud to say all their students are treated equally. Racism=stupidy & ignorance is never bliss!

    December 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Heather

    Anyone, regardless of what race u are, who puts a label on themselves as being a 'white woman', 'black woman, etc you're part of the reason we have racism in this country. We are all American, skin color doesn't matter. Everyone has a choice in life, and there are plenty of ppl out there who fight everyday to survive and make something of themselves, I don't see anyone limiting any race from any opportunity. Honestly try going to college, you have more of a chance of getting in if you're ethnic and that's the damn truth. So its great that she wants to reach out to a community of her similar peers, but seriously it should have never been about whether she was black or not. I think labels should go out the window, its just color of skin, everyone needs to cut themselves and see they all bleed red whether their black, white, asian, hispanic, etc...

    December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      Stop all this race talk. Just see yourself as a human living on earth. Why should the way anyone feel about you affect the way you see youself? We are all one. We are all humans trying to survive in planet we cannot understand. Spend your energy in trying to make our planet a better place, and do not waste it in this race talk. Lets talk about ways we can reduce global warming inst

      ead cos we are all in the same problem whether black skin, white skin, green skin, yellow skin orange skin, red skin etc

      December 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      Stop all this race talk. Just see yourself as a human living on earth. Why should the way anyone feel about you affect the way you see youself? We are all one. We are all humans trying to survive in planet we cannot understand. Spend your energy in trying to make our planet a better place, and do not waste it in this race talk. Lets talk about ways we can reduce global warming instead cos we are all in this together whether you are dark skin, white skin, yellow skin,green skin, orange skin, red skin etc......

      ead cos we are all in the same problem whether black skin, white skin, green skin, yellow skin orange skin, red skin etc

      December 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. warren

    americans grow the f up. u r more alike than u realize. ea mtu is right i saw that myself. i live in tanzania 4 years now. grow up bunch of baabies! tolerate or better try to open ur heart. stupid babies for all to whom it applies

    December 19, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |


    December 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Emelia

    The comments being made are far more racist than the article ever was. F*** this, Americans, I'm moving out. I don't want to be surrounded by such ignorance, stripes and stars be damned.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ridic

    What if a white person made JUST FOR white foster kids a place to learn or study? Would that be considered racism?

    December 18, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. truthBtold

    Cool program! I agree that there should be a huge emphasis on developing math and science skills, because that's the only way one can succeed in any of these fields. As for white people being up in arms about a program targeted to Blacks, try sending your child-I'm sure you wouldn't be turned away. My guess is a lot of you wouldn't, but you would still complain about "reverse racism". Did you know that your white child can go to a Historically Black College or University for FREE- all in the name of diversity-but Black students have to pay upwards of 30,000 a year to attend? These programs, schools, events, etc. were created out of necessity because Blacks were/have been alienated from various social, professional, and educational arenas. However, WE are not excluding YOU from joining us. You just choose to do that on your own once you see "Black" in the name of anything. Stop with this whole "woe is me, I'm white and minorities get everything" b.s. You guys have been getting fat off the hog for centuries!

    December 18, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. julia.

    Am east african an have lived in this country close to four years. I have never experienced racism from white america it is always e african americans that are hostile. why??.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • clfrank

      My guess Julia is that you are too naive to see the racism issued by white people in this country. They're probably not going to call you an N word in the grocery store. Its a lot more subtle. I'm guessing the reason you see if from black people is because typically, we are more aware and are quick to point it out.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SomeRandomDude

    This article is racist.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Queen

    This program sounds fantastic. Congrats to the creator and the little girls who are benefiting from the special attention.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seriously

    Good for her. She is giving back to her community by helping young African Americans with technology. People are ranting on about race because she reaching out to what she knows. She did not say no other race allowed. For the jerk who said Black people have their own month, TV station, and now this, You are damn right. Why did Black people feel the need to do this? It's called teaching history. BET is a station that will track many Black people because it gives stories that are not always on the local news. For the people saying what about White people, give her a call and sign up for the course, or create your own program.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Errol Neal

      No one white complains when Chrysler has a commercial with a black rapper and hip hop music to market it to young African Americans. Why is someone complaining about Viacom using BET in the same fashion. BET is is simply a selection of programming and advertisements targeted at mostly older African Americans. It's very profitable for Viacom as advertisers can directly speak to us to market their products and services. So we just don't "get" a channel lol. People are getting very very rich of of our viewer-ship!

      December 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Marquise

    Nice article. A young woman saw a need and reached back to her community to try to make a difference. Wonderful! Many Whites scream at the minority community to pick themselves up by their own boot straps but when they attempt to do so, they are being accused of being racists. If I'm not mistaken the group is open to girls that reside in poor neighborhoods that consist primarily of minorities: Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. I didn't see the word "Only". Bravo Ms Bryant! They are afraid you might make a difference and the permanent underclass will be no more.

    December 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon Cullars

      I agree totally Marquise. It seems people tend to talk out of both sides of their mouths.

      January 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  17. atlantian

    chuck norris is a racist

    December 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Abdullah

    Either this article is put wrongly, or the company itself is created and aimed towards black folks, but not limited to them. What the company or article should have choose is, "a young girl created her own company to help lesser fortunate," or possibly "unprivileged children/girls."

    Females get paid less than males doing the exact same job.
    A person with a black skin is not stupid.
    A person that isn't white is not stupid.
    A person that is "yellowish" and has Asian features is not smart, at least in sciences more than any other human being.

    The main reason behind people that are of a dark skin to be put on a pedestal as less than other is pure racism, nationalism, and/or religious beliefs. We are all the same under our skin. As a matter of FACT, there are more differences in the genetic makeup between one "color" of people than between different colors of people. As a matter of FACT 2, the differences that we share among ourselves and with other people are vital to our survival as a race; it was the reason we fought many diseases and prevented our annihilation.

    Stereotypes come from somewhere, they don't just pop out of the blue. That, however, does not validate them. Majority of "black" communities, or minorities in general live in a poverty area. Their expectations are lower than others looking at their situation, and it's very hard to blame them. Yet, it's not a reason to stop one from becoming and icon for generations to come in science and technology. In the United States, public schools are funded from home taxes and such, which are very low in poor areas. This could only mean poor schools and poor education. Therefore, less people from that certain community making it to collage, and moving beyond.

    Our system is flawed and needs fixing in that area. It is utterly unfair. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude culture as a main, not the main reason behind a person lagging in school. Many black kids believe they can be basketball players or rappers, and thus, neglect their schools and studies. Their parents are, if in a poor area, very busy trying to get food on the table and do not necessarily follow their children's education. The latter part applies to anyone, not black people alone. You can read a book based on a true story and an analysis found in one of the best school in the United States, Shaker Heights school, by professor John U. Ogbu. The book is called, "Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement".

    Many black people will find my post bad, or hurtful, for that i apologize. However, it's the truth, and for that i hope you read this post with great care and understanding. All people are created equal, no color, gender, belief, or creed can lower one's ability to achieve.

    NOTE: You may have noticed i called a black person, black, and not African American. The reason is, blacks are black, whites are white, and anything in between is what they are. Not all black people are from Africa. We don't call "white people" Caucasian American, etc. People are best described by their true skin color, gender, and facial features. because, even twins could be different, one is black and one is white, no joke... The odds of such thing happening are a million to one. This is called Mixed twins, please read more about the subject here: http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/mixedtwins.asp

    Bottom line, race is a myth. There is not such thing, and it's been proven by science. So all you racists out there,, knock it off or Chuck Norris will find you!

    December 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • hemo


      December 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      There's no like button so... *Like* Very well put

      December 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • clfrank

      That's what I've been saying all alonf. I cringe when black people refer to themselves as "African American". I'm black and I cannot scientifically trace my ancestry back to Africa if I tried, seeing as I'm female and don't have a brother. Race is a myth and has no bearing on our genetic makeup. It was proven by the human genome project.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  19. You hate your life so you want all to be miserable

    Why it is that a positve article about youth development turns into a topic about racism and hate. Simply put the people who took the time to read this article and gathered from it bitterness, hate and evil. I'm not understanding why it bothers some that a black child can make a difference without being subjected to hateful, angry remarks. If you are simply upset because you are not able to "own" a slave or are upset because there is progression in a postive way in the black community. Then you should have not took the time to read this article. Times are changing while in everyones race there are non law abiding people. Why it is that the black community has to constantly hear about "thugs", gang bangers, and ignorance. Simply put those people do NOT define a entire race culture of people.
    There are alot of youth just like this young girl that are making huge strides and will probally create more income than any of these racist, tobacco, incest child predators posting hate about something that is a positive. I say continue with this type of talk it is simply a distraction to your own children that they are being passed up by youth that did not have a 200 year head start.
    Anyone looking back will get left behind the majority of all people are looking forward.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  20. Heather

    The comments reminded me of something that happened to me as a teen. My public high school was majority black. The faculty was about half and half. The white kids knew as a rule that we were sort of "on our own" as it was assumed we were all at an advantage. But there were a few faculty that were amazing. One was a vice principal (he was black) and took an interest in making sure all students who applied themselves were encouraged along.

    One afternoon I got a call from a friend asking me to go with her to visit a college with some other students. I said I hadn't been invited and she told me that the vice principal had told them they could bring a friend. The next day I showed up and the vp's face lit up. I asked him if it was ok for me to attend and he said he was thrilled I had come.

    An hour later, we were at the college being greeted, "Welcome to our minority student tour of the campus." I looked around and for the first time it registered to me that I really was the only white person in the room. Then I realized that my wonderful vp was probably smirking in private glee as the college reps tried to figure out what sort of minority the pasty auburn girl was. If all educators could be as open and desiring of all students to learn, our country would soar academically.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  21. whatever

    This is so RACIST. If a white woman had made a "white girls code the liberals and blacks would be screaming their heads off. Or what about "god" forbid the white mans code. I am soooo tired of black thisn black that. Latino this latino that. Jewish this and jewish that. Just be american this or american that. We have a black president now. Stop segragating yourselves. Be american and be proud. If you live in another country then be proud of that. But if you live here be american and be proud. Not I'm a this or that. That's segregation and you are doing it to yourself. Get over it people. I am a () american and proud.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • clfrank

      It is very easy for a white person to say just be American to a black person. If race truly did not matter, you would not feel the need to point out that our president is half black. The truth is, in America, the first thing people observe about you is your race. And usually a few stereotypes that come with it. When I walk into a room, people say. "there's a pretty BLACK girl". Not, there is a pretty girl. It is reality.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  22. BJ smith

    what about white people?

    December 17, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      I don't think a White person would be turned down. This is an encouraging article but unfortunately it was presented the wrong way. I would imagine this young lady wanting to reach back to areas she's familiar with for individuals that needs help working with computers. I don't see anything wrong this young lady creating some that reaches out to black females. If you look at the statistics, it's actually needed. I grew up in a tough area and love to go back to my old neighborhood and lend a helping land. I completey understand the racist comments although they are stupid. Some of you guys want to know why is it target at teenage girls. It's because it is crucial for them to learn and in some parts of town, it's not that easy.

      Fort the people who want to say what about white people, think of some things you can teach a certain group and go for it. I would suggest this to all races. Don't hate on the girl that is actually doing something with her life. Find a group who will cater to what you need.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • AlongTheWay

        Of course White people would be turned down and denied. That possibility....happens all the time. Unless you are a woman, minoirty, and/or illegal immagrants etc..etc.. White People are dead last in advantages these days. This is a good article. Shows that we are STILL thinking along the lines of race. LIkely...always will.

        December 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. allie

    really now, scratch, really. i dont care if your black or what not but this article is just stupid

    December 17, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  24. Dez

    after reading these comments, black people are some bitter ignorant white haters... lol, smh... no wonder they still view us the same as 50 years ago

    December 17, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  25. jake

    The real problem is that if you want a degree in computer science, you have to be good at math & science. Teaching girls how to create cutesy games is great, but if they stink at math, they aren't going to get a degree in cs. In college, I tutored quite a few minority students who hoped to major in programming. The problem is many were unable to pass even a remedial high school level algebra class. College is not like high school, there aren't teachers that can coddle kids and push them along. College math and science classes are often taught by asian profs and TAs who have no sympathy for the poor black kid who doesn't get basic concepts.

    December 17, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  26. atlantian

    what a dip$%*#, "what have whites had to struggle and fight for"? AMERICA! your own bruthas sold you out!!!

    December 17, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  27. atlantian

    hey heathbar, it was called the American Revolution!

    December 17, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  28. Mr Heath (Atlanta)

    So let's go ahead and push not only racism but the reverse racism. Ppl are so ignorant these days. How can you take something positive like this and flip it. As a black man I must say yes when CNN does specials like black or Latino in america it opens the door for conversations like this but really, name any time in US History when white ppl had to fight for there equal protection and rights under law. So why would CNN do a special called white in america? What have the majority of white ppl had to struggle and fight for? Not as much as any minority in this country.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  29. atlantian

    great program! now maybe that'll keep some people off the Maury show...

    December 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  30. mslman71

    What stereotype? I wasn't aware that there was a stereotype involving color, gender, and computers. Is there a stereotype within the black community itself, about itself?

    December 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dale N.M.

    Black women could change just about everything, if they would just start rejecting those gang bangers that are losers

    December 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • whosurdaddy

      They will die virgin then.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Gang Bangers?! I don't think so. Not all black men are gang bangers, and not all women are attracted to gang bangers, You are stereotyping.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  32. Gill

    I'm just shaking my head, reading the comments from some very obvious racist. You know it's sad when, the little girls taking these classes are smarter than the racist people making comments. The point here is no matter what race anyone is, EDUCATION should be key. Your mind state is in a very sad, dark place if you can't understand that. It's funny too because, MOST of the RACIST making comments, work or live around us Black or People of COLOR, but don't have the nerve to be anything else but closeted, closed mind idiots, you won't say it to OUR faces, but boy you can get on here and go to town, hmm that's interesting. You just can't stand to see US as a people thrive and do better than you. It sucks to know that we can be CEO's, we can be doctors, lawyers and teachers. That some of us actually live in nice houses, make more money than you legally and hold higher positions in society than you could dream and do YOU know why........because like these little girls, we can be greater, YOU racist only prove that every time you make redundant commentary. So keep up the great work on your racist efforts. YOU will only make it easier to be BETTER than YOU!! Thank goodness that there are enough thoughtful people on here, to keep me from thinking all of humanity is full of hateful people.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAMES

      Thank you! Hate and ignorance is the root of making the whole world blind.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • The truth

      Thank you for telling the truth. That's one thing these DUM RACIST don't like is the TRUTH.

      December 17, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kapner

      lol If you think this is bad go on Youtube thousands of times as bad

      December 17, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  33. galacticaman

    Talk about struggles white rappers have to go through in order to succeed.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Matt Damon

    Giving a black a computer is like giving a white a dew rag.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheKraken

      ....meaning it can make you look better? I mean, look at Eminiem. I couldn't picture him singing country.....and honestly he's better than a lot of other rappers out there.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jeremy

    Are white girls allowed?

    December 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Real effort

    So much misunderstanding in the comments about what the real problem of racism is. Racism doesn't go away when we just stop using offensive words, it's not about political correctness. The damage of racism is seen in the lingering inequality in the statistics about economic class, education, political power, etc. White people should own up to our very real and present problem. Fighting for a racism-free America is not done through political correctness, but by the direction of real efforts... this article shows a very good example of that kind of effort.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Tr1Xen

    "That's why Bryant started Black Girls Code, a volunteer organization in San Francisco that's dedicated to teaching young girls of color about computer programming and technology."

    "Young girls of color"?!?!???!? REALLY???!? It makes me cringe when I hear people use that kind of twisted euphemistic language just for the sake of political correctness. What's wrong with the word "Black"? It's descriptive, and most Black people I know don't take offense to it. But "[people] of color" is really pushing the envelope. We've gone so overboard with political correctness nowadays that we've taken all of the life out of language. Sad...

    December 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tr1Xen

      LOL even the website (which is called "Black Girls Code" so obviously they don't have a problem with the word "Black") uses the phrase "people of color." So silly.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahH

      Because not all of the kids in the program are black. Not very good at reading comprehension are you?

      December 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarahH

        Yea... I don't have to be so snarky. It's just amazing the things people will get upset about. "Black people calling themselves people of color??? How dare they?? They have to go by the words I want to use... waaaaaa...." Please. Please just stop. You're making fools of yourselves.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  38. wow...racism=fear

    Love this program. I'm white, female- and I can't believe how ignorant these comments are. Kim Bryant- you are bringing up the bar for female minorities, you are AWESOME!

    December 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • galacticaman

      look,blacks don't give a f– about you no matter how much you try to lick their a–.If you're not racist,fine but don't act like p–.It's the most annoying thing in comments."I'm white and blah,blah,blah".Who cares you're white or purple in comments.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignore_the.ignorance

      Hey Racism=Fear, Let me add racism=fear + ignorance x low self esteem – insight and understanding. After reading so many ridiculous comments you feel the need to identify yourself and state I am ____ and I don't agree with these racist comments. Thank you for your post, very refreshing to hear positivity. I agree with everything you said. Ignore the hate.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  39. snarks

    There goes CNN again. Its all about everyone but the white man. Racist news station. Every day, every single day they have some article promoting and lusting over islam, and promoting racism. Disgusting.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherry


      December 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • snarks

        Spot on Sherry. How come I can't meet your type when searching for a loving relationship :).

        December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mr Obvious

        Awwwww....Now you two can press your white robes and go to a klan rally/bar b que and pig wrangling for your first date.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • snarks

        I don't think you got the message Mr Obvious. Re-read what I wrote. Learn. Evolve. If you end the ignorance, your soul will be free.

        December 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jason

    "Black Girls Code tackles tech stereotypes"

    Clearly the writer is projecting their own stereotypes on to the rest of us. How insulting.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  41. EtcEtc

    Girls can't code.
    Girls can't do math.
    AND girls can't drive very well.
    That is the way it is. If you think that is stereotyping, then let me inform you it is the statistical reality. And no. Its not because of some social/gender bias. It is simply because those who want to do something, just do it. And you can't make those who don't want to, do it. You can teach girls to code. You can't teach them to be good at it. They just don't get the philosophy behind the effort it takes to be good at it.
    And keep your Ada Lovelace or Adafruit examples to yourself. Black swans not a statistical reality make.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Insurance companies don't give a dam about male and female. But even they know men are riskier drivers than women. Insurance rates don't lie. And neither do stats. Women are safer drivers.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • allie

      Bet im better at it then you num nuts.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  42. wow

    really since when has scrach been considerd a programing language??? who the hell wrote this artical.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Not that point dumba$$

      December 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Writer Jobs

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writers Wanted

    December 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  44. fail

    that picture is missleading makeing a scrach game is not really a game... a ten year old could use scrach. let me know when you have a girl programing in java.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Fascinated1

    Yes, kudos to you Ms Bryant! I'm glad you are taking the initiative to be a role model and provide an inclusive environment for these girls to get their geek on!

    Hopefully you will ignore the weird, racist and cynical comments, and keep your eyes on the prize - the kids are the future! Kudos!!

    December 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Jay

    Is that a bowl of fried chicken I see on the screen?

    December 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • J what?

      Someone should pop the tires on your house !!

      December 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • lolsfatTRANNY

      Maybe a black person could do it.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • bm

      Is that your mother on her knees?

      December 17, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Jay your ignorance is showing

      December 17, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  47. Johnnyola

    What is with CNN lately? You'd think after Obama was elected, this kind of crap journalism would go away. If CNN cares about race so much, why don't they do an expose on being White in America? Oh yeah, getting good grades, graduating from college, not getting into trouble, solid middle class upbringing........guess that doesn't generate good headlines.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • melarri

      CNN has many Penn St articles lately.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willy the Pooh

      More like living on welfare, eating mayo sandwiches, growing mullets and crying about losing the country that was stolen from Native Americans xO

      December 17, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  48. Andrew

    Great, once we've defeated the stereotype that women of color can't or at least don't want to enter the tech arena, we can work on the stereotype that all males in the industry are Dilbert.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  49. NJ Sam

    Obama 2012!!

    December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • nobama

      Are you trying to kill America?

      RON PAUL 2012

      December 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • NJ Sam

        You must be a racist than, huh?

        December 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • nobama

        That's the problem with you liberals. You always pull the race card.

        December 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Seriously

        He's not trying to kil America he is just supporting the President that had to come behind Bush and clean up his mess,

        December 17, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  50. DC

    Why doesn't CNN have articles like this about the under-representation of NON-BLACKS in professional sports?

    December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • nobama

      I agree

      December 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • adam

      CNN is located in Atlanta... & you wonder why they are so black everything?

      December 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  51. blahblah

    Why is aspirin white?

    ...because it works.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • VersaMonk

      And why is OIL BLACK?...... Thats right we are the earth

      December 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  52. txrj

    and we wonder why there is racism still in this country. when will we ever stop color coding kids and treat them all equal

    December 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • NJ Sam

      If you're white it is not ok

      December 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just as Sweet

      When we stop diefying people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and start showing the true diversity of tech geeks and role models for all children. Name one Black woman tech geek - hint: read the article (see how this works?).

      December 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Liz

        True. The company where I work has a large number of black staff members in Information Systems, many of them from places like Nigeria and Ghana. Some people here would probably be surprised to even hear that there are any black people in IS at all. Most people don't know anything except what they see in their own little lives and what they hear in news media outlets. Perhaps if there were more news stories about successful black people in science and technology, there wouldn't be so many stupid comments like the ones on this thread.

        December 17, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  53. Morgan

    This is a great program. I am a white woman in the computer science industry and I am one of the few... We definitely need to have more programs like this so we can reach girls before it is too late and make them realize that they should consider joining tech/science fields. I don't know one single black female programmer...

    December 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • blahblah

      They are too dumb.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I do agree with that comment. Most of the people I have met in computer science, of any race, are male. And black males in computer science have especially vastly outnumbered black females.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  54. blahblah

    LOL. She is using scratch. Good luck with C++.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Gotta start somewhere

      December 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • j greg

        but still the artical is an insult to anyone that actually programs, my brother is 14 and programs a little in java, and yet this girl is being prazed for useing scratch.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Kevin

    To me at least this seems racist. There is no white girls code! Judging people by their race!

    December 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • InclinedToCmment

      Here's my birds-eye view of the strategy here. Better to be blatant about who the program targets to try to help so that those individuals know off hand there is an organization willing to represent and help them succeed. "Black Girls Code" seems to market to the intended audience better than "Human Beings Code", whereinby you detract away from the very group you are trying to foster a better education for.

      Its not racism. Its not "black" magic. Its not political correctness. Its not anything other than pure MARKETING.

      December 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  56. glenn

    Lynn, you are a racist and also a fool since you think child molestation is limited to white people.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oribknow

      If you think Lynn was being serious, then you also must think swimming is limited to white people! Racist.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Indigo

    Lol that kid wants to "hack" his homework. Good luck with that. 🙂

    December 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Lynn

    That's like wondering if whites will stop molesting their children.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garrett

      So, I can have children if they can't swim. Let me think about it. It might be a fair trade.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      blacks are 13% of the US population yet commit 45% of total rapes and 90% of interracial rapes. what's it blacks like to say? "don't get it twisted, nuhmean?"

      December 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Liz

        Are you a real person? Cuz you sure don't sound like one. Not a thinking one anyway.

        December 17, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
      • You hate your life so you want all to be miserable

        Actually if you look at any criminal records this is NOT true. Maybe in your own racist world those stats make sense however it is mostly non american illegals that represent most crime in America. You should take the time to actually research somthing before you look completely stupid. This ape this also no longer valid since your women are leaving your race in droves. Two words Heidi Klumm!!

        December 17, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
      • SomeRandomDude

        sure, blame it on the mexicans.

        you're not fooling anyone. we all see who the real racist is.

        December 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Proud

    This is AWESOME!!!!!! Kudos to you Ms. Bryant. When setting up other chapters remember Phoenix, AZ....it would be great!

    December 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |