Erica Walker, Scott Williams, and Robin Wilson
In Mathematics, more than any other field of study, have we heard proclamations and statements similar to, “The Negro is incapable of succeeding.” Ancient and present achievements contradict such statements. One of the purposes of this website is to exhibit the inaccuracy of those proclamations by exhibiting the accomplishments of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora within the Mathematical Sciences.
Over twenty years ago, SUNY Buffalo Professor Scott Williams took it upon himself to create a website in the early days of the internet that would provide African Americans with access to the many, little told stories of African Americans mathematicians. He called the website the Mathematicians of the African Diaspora. At the time, most images of African Americans in popular culture were of athletes, actors and musicians, and little information was available about African Americans in the Sciences, let along in Mathematics. This website is being updated and modernized and the new version is available at www.mathad.com. In this article we share reflections from three authors, including Scott Williams himself, on the importance that the Mathematicians of the African Diaspora Website has had on their lives and careers, and on the American mathematics community in general.