Jerry Lawson, an Engineer, is generally credited as the first black game designer. Lawson was not only a self-taught engineer but one of the very few black engineers of his time.
In 1976, after spending time at Queens College, Lawson developed the Fairchild Channel F, the first cartridge-bases console system that had a Pause button and had 8 colors in a single game. It was the predecessor to the Atari 2600. He is also instrumental in the development of the commercial video game cartridge.
Some more info on Jerry Lawson, from Biography.com: LINK
… And IGN.com: LINK
History and specs on the Fairchild Channel F: LINK