Apple Spotlights Black Tech Creators Making Life Better for Black Families

The brand's efforts to showcase Black tech creators during Black History Month continues their recent commitment to diversify the tech space through funding, education, and visibility.

Black woman coding on computer while holding her toddler son
Photo: Getty Images

Technology has undoubtedly changed our lives, and it's definitely changed modern parenting. This Black History Month, Apple put the spotlight back on Black tech creators—including those whose apps have made the pregnancy and fertility journey a little less complicated and parenting a little more entertaining.

Recently, Apple hosted an intimate virtual session showcasing the work of Black app creators.

"We believe that technology is a key tool for social change, and with apps becoming more central to the way we live, work, play, and take care of ourselves and each other every day, supporting our Black developer community is more important now than ever," says Alisha Johnson, director of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

Kindred by Parents.com spoke with two of those app creators about what inspired their apps and what they hope they will mean for Black families.

Simmone Taitt Headshot
Simmone Taitt

Simmone Taitt created the app Poppy Seed Health to ensure others had what she needed through her journey with pregnancy loss and infertility.

"I am a Black woman who has spent the last few years of my life navigating my own complicated reproductive health journey," says Taitt. "I created Poppy Seed Health to make sure Black birthing people feel seen, heard, validated, and held emotionally in their birthing process, while also empowering them with healthcare knowledge that allows them to be better advocates for themselves."

She believes that when Black people have access to one-on-one emotional and mental support, from someone they know understands their experiences, the entire family benefits.

Taitt discusses the positive benefits of doulas on birth outcomes—like low birth weight, reduced complications, and higher initiation of breastfeeding—and the lack of access to providers of color and how Poppy Seed Health aims to assist this process. "We aim to help bridge that gap using virtual, instant care to ensure birthing people get the care they need to have safe and healthy pregnancies, deliveries and children'', she says, noting the struggles many experience, like distance for care and lack of transportation, that reduce maternal health appointment attendance.

The on-demand telehealth solution app also assists Black families with aspects of reproduction that are addressed less frequently. Taitt says there's a lot of shame and stigma with infertility, pregnancy loss and struggling through the fourth trimester, generally, but it's even more nuanced for Black people.

"Black birthing people are often not given the space to be soft and vulnerable especially as it relates to these journeys," she says "Having a safe space to express emotions freely when family and friends might not understand is important for everyone but creating that space for Black parents is incredibly important." In early February, Apple featured Poppy Seed Health as an App of the Day.

DeShuna Spencer headshot
DeShuna Spencer

DeShuna Spencer created kweliTV, an interactive on-demand and live streaming video network with more than 500 indie films, series, and documentaries from Black creators across the globe. kweliTV's content affirms Black families in ways that challenge traditional media's one-dimensional portrayals of Blackness and asks an important question: "How many times have children of color had opportunities to be seen?"

"We see kweliTV as a space to fill the gap for Black families to watch programming that feature historical figures and events that may not be taught in the classroom but in a way that also minimizes Black trauma,'' says Spencer. She says that traditional media uses animals, plants, cars to show diversity, but Black parents want to see their families represented. kweliTV offers Black families a chance to see ourselves represented in the full complexity of Blackness across the diaspora in ways traditional media falls short.

"Giving Black children a global perspective shows them that their ancestors were creating history well before slavery, and today so many in our community are still breaking barriers," says Spencer. It also leans into the differences in appearance, culture, location and ethnic groups making it possible to bridge the gap between the western Black experiences and those of their African and Caribbean counterparts.

kweliTV has many great shows, but Spencer recommends Africa United, French short-film Vanille, and animated series The Matumbila's for those seeking suggestions for the family.

The tech company also showcased other creators of apps that benefit Black families, including Muoyo Okome and Nicaila Matthews Okome, coloring app Color Noir creators, and Kaya Thomas, the creator of the We Read Too directory of diverse books app.Apple's effort to showcase Black tech creators continues their two-year push to diversify the tech space, including funding a learning hub called Propel at HBCUs, launching an Entrepreneur Camp for Black founders, and investing $50 million with financial institutions focused on providing access and resources to minority-owned and founded businesses. But Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), which focuses on education, economic opportunity, and criminal justice reform which launched in 2020, is their most notable effort.

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