CNN’s Black in America series recently touched on the struggle African Americans entrepreneurs face in breaking through the tech ceiling of the “new promised land” that is Silicon Valley. At one point in the segment, a successful South Asian businessman tells the group they need to hire a “white front man” if they ever want their ideas or businesses to see the light of day.

Over at The Root, which focuses on news, politics and opinion in the black community, a slide show recently appeared on the publication’s Web site highlighting “20 tech game changers” in black history.

It’s an impressive and esteemed group that includes men like Gerald Lawson, whose invention allowed for interchangeable cartridges in home videogame systems, and Mark Dean, who helped design the first IBM personal computer. Physicist Shirley Jackson became the first African American and the first woman ever to be appointed chairwoman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The folks up at Google and Twitter may want to take note, though according to Hank Williams – one of the eight individuals profiled in the CNN special -- the tech industry “wasn’t watching, was totally unengaged or worse - uninterested.”