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In honor of Black History Month, we dive into some inspirational history. Our focus goes on recognizing invisible cryptologists that served before and after World War II.

What is a Cryptologist

Cryptology is the encryption and decryption research. Cryptologists analyze and interpret data and patterns to decipher and generate encoded signals. Once a person establishes a channel for secure communications, they are a cryptologist.

The History of African Americans in Cryptologic Systems

In the 1950s, Black Americans were joining the workforce. After the establishment of more integrated offices, many Black Americans received managerial roles. At the NSA, Black Americans progressed to senior ranks. 

There was a large-scale hiring program before World War II in 1944. Black Americans were enthralled in the decryption of messages in unknown systems, analyzing them, and had the ability to translate those messages. After the war was over there were at least thirty Black Americans who continued on their work for the United State government.

Khari Cooper Shares Inspirational Cryptologists

Khari has created a tribute to some influential Black Americans that were cryptologists. Some of these essential people named in this video are the first believed Black American hired by the Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, Mr. Bernard W. Pryor, NAS’s first black engineer, Mr. Carroll Robinson, the first Black American woman hired as an agency recruiter, Ms. Lillie Berry, and many more.

This video highlights some of the most influential Black Americans in the cryptology workforce, also showing the leaders of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) in 1951 and the invisible cryptologists from WWII to 1956.

For Black History Month, we acknowledge and are grateful to these fantastic cryptologists who have served to keep this country safe from any harm.

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