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Computer Science Student Creates App to Help Austin’s Black Community

Computer Science Student Creates App to Help Austin’s Black Community
UT Computer Science student Earl Potts was featured in the news for the app he created, "Keep Austin Black"

Earl Potts, a University of Texas at Austin Computer Science and African and African Diaspora Studies student, has been featured in several local media outlets after he created the app "Keep Austin Black" to provide Austinites with an extensive directory of local Black-owned businesses. 

Though Potts initially started working on the app in October 2019, he went back to working on "Keep Austin Black" as a response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests going on throughout the United States.

The app provides users with a directory of businesses such as automotive services, realty groups and restaurants that are owned by Black Austin residents. In addition, users can also submit a business that they feel should be showcased in the app. "Keep Austin Black" gives Black business owners a platform to advertise their services while encouraging allies to support Austin's Black community through their shopping habits. 

In the news, Potts spoke about the necessity of the app, saying, "An app like mine, to showcase lesser-known Black-owned businesses, is important especially to a city like Austin where Black-owned businesses are consistently pushed out as a result of gentrification."

The junior, who is also the financial chair for UT Austin's Association of Black Computer Scientists (ABCS), has received an outpouring of support, and has been featured by Fox 7 Austin and KXAN.

"Although this isn't the solution to racial inequity in Austin, it provides a way for Black people and allies to support the community," said Potts.

The app is available for download from the Apple App Store.

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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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