This 12-Year-Old Boy Just Launched 'Afro Bot Boyz' To Boost The Representation Of Black Boys In Robotics
D.J. Comeaux: "[I was inspired] not by Black Panther the superhero, but his sister Shuri."
Black STEM excellence strikes again! Inspired by Black Panther, 12-year-old D.J. Comeaux recently launched Afro Bot Boyz, a robotics-based initiative to inspire black men and women to pursue careers in technology, according to FOX Minneapolis. Through Afro Bot Boyz, D.J. wants black men and women to join together to exchange resources and create partnerships.
“I want it to become something everyone can rely on,” D.J. said.
What is an Afro Bot Boy?
“An Afro Bot Boy is--” D.J. said. “Okay, I’m going to break this down for you — he’s me, basically, with no glasses."
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“He’s winking to let anyone looking at him know it’s going to be okay,” said D.J., of the brand's logo, which he drew and digitally created. “I wanted to boost the confidence of people that look like me, more likely to be interested in being in robotics."
A recent Pew Research Center study found that black men and women are underrepresented and underpaid in the tech industry. D.J.'s new initiative is one way to combat that.
“We support this industry, why are we not supporting them to create and work behind the scenes and create the coding, the tech, and the language to have their own companies?” asked D.J.'s mother, Kayann Comeaux.
So what inspired D.J. to create Afro Bot Boyz? Oh, just a little Marvel movie known as Black Panther. But, the kicker is, it wasn't T'Challa that inspired D.J. ... it was T'Challa's sister!
"[I was inspired] not by Black Panther the superhero, but his sister Shuri," he said. "She used to create all of the designs and technology so I kind of really like that."
“A lot of times children lack confidence for various reasons, so to have confidence in this, in something that’s smart, educational and maybe not as popular?" added Kayann. "Black Panther gave him confidence to be that guy behind the boards."
To learn more about Afro Bot Boyz and to sign up for its summer meet-up, head to afrobotboyz.com!