THE BRONX - A Bronx app developer created a way to connect students' smartphones to historic black icons like Frederick Douglass.

Merrick Lee co-created one of the top-performing black history apps, Black History Tribute.

He compares it to a touchscreen textbook on African-American history and activism. It's become popular with students, especially at St. Raymond High School, where Lee once attended.

He said his initial lack of knowledge about the civil rights movement inspired him to create the program.