Looking to leave your footprint in tech? Black Tech Unplugged may be the place to make an introduction about not only who you are but also your why; And appreciate Deena McKay for the space to do so.
McKay, founder and host of Black Tech Unplugged, created the podcast when she found herself feeling alone — as a black woman — in one too many scenarios in the “tech scene.” Black Tech Unplugged is a monthly show that highlights Blacks who innovate and work in the technology industry because the point was not that they weren’t out there; It was that they deserved a spotlight.
“These stories are created to help listeners hear what others have gone through to get where they are … To share resources and advice so you have guidance on your tech journey,” McKay explains. “Consider this a podcast for the people.”
What are the best and most unexpected outcomes of you creating the Black Tech Unplugged podcast?
When I started the podcast, I started it because everyone talks about how there’s a lack of Blacks in tech. Contrary to that belief, there are tons of Blacks out here doing amazing things. I wanted to highlight them and offer a platform for them to tell their stories. The best outcome I’ve experienced, thus far, is the overwhelming amount of support and love that people in the tech community have shown to me. When you create a new product or idea you never know who is going to like it so it’s refreshing to know that my podcast resonates with other Black techies. The most unexpected outcome is the amazing and unique people I’ve met on the Black Tech Unplugged journey. You won’t believe the ideas some people are bringing to life.
What guest or episode has left the most impact on you in this endeavor? Why?
The episode that I did with Black Tech Women left a huge impact on my endeavor. So many people tell me how they relate to the conversation and they felt like they were in a room with their best friends having an open, honest conversation. It’s that real conversation that makes people feel welcome and like they are getting real information.
What outcome do you intend to produce with Black Tech Unplugged?
There are two outcomes I’m trying to produce with Black Tech Unplugged. One outcome is the idea of community. To this day, I still hear people say they are the “only one” within their team or company. I want to produce a community where people feel safe, where people can ask questions and [ask for] advice about what they are going through. [I want it to be] a place to feel welcome and no longer feel like the “only one.”
My other outcome is to show others that Black people are out here killing it in tech. Contrary to some [what some] believe, we are making great strides in the industry. It’s sad that mainstream media doesn’t pick up everything, but who needs mainstream when we have our own platforms now.
Who is your dream guest? Why?
This is a hard one … Right now, I’d say my dream guest would be Bozoma Saint John. I just love her energy! Every interview she does, she keeps it real and straight. And my goodness … Have you seen her outfits? She’s just very inspiring and definitely a breath of fresh air to the tech industry. I would definitely love to interview her one day.
Who in Atlanta is on your radar?
I’ve had my eye on Atlanta for a little while now. It’s definitely one of the places that is growing its tech community. Some of the people and organizations on my radar including DigitalUndivided, Spendwith (Jibirl Sulaiman), Jewel Burks, Ryan Wilson, just to name a few.