Nails done, brows done, hair long, dress short, heels high. The Mecca of superficiality that our young girls strive to reach is pursued with the determination and will of an Olympic athlete. Self-esteem and self-image start with the word ‘self’ for a reason. How you feel about yourself and how comfortable you are with yourself are functions of inner, as well as outer beauty. For decades the media has defined beauty for all women by images of tall, thin blondes, lips and eyelashes flawlessly made up, dressed in trendy expensive clothing; with no emphasis placed on inner beauty.
For the sake of helping our young girls form multi-layered views of self by seeing other types of women to emulate, Black America, take your daughters to see Hidden Figures. If you haven’t heard of it, the movie is based on a true story that focuses on the contributions of three amazing, brilliant Black women: Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn. These women played instrumental roles to help launch the first American astronauts into space. The title Hidden Figures signifies the fact that these Black women were, until recently, buried or hidden in history, although as prominent individuals or figures they played major roles by using figures, or numbers. They were mathematicians, each with a special interest and expertise in engineering, physics and computers. They were also mothers and wives during segregation; a time when whites told Blacks where they could or couldn’t go to school and what types of jobs they could or couldn’t do. These intelligent women were given a chance to display their exceptional talents to the world only because white America needed them during the Space Race, a crucial time in this country’s history. Hidden Figures is a depiction of what Black women have consistently done in this country since our arrival in 1619 in Hampton, VA, where coincidentally the first Africans arrived in this country and the events of this movie take place; we have persevered and triumphed despite the unmasked obstacles of physical and metaphorical shackles.
As a young Black girl growing up in Hampton, VA, I realized at a young age that I liked learning. I was curious and I wanted to know how stuff worked. This was normal to me. I was and still am fascinated with gadgets, gears and all things mechanical. I am also interested in science, and formally educated as a Ph.D. physicist. I received a great education in the local school system as far as reading, math and science were concerned. What I didn’t get was knowledge of, or exposure to role models that look like me. I feel robbed of a special type of mentoring that I didn’t get as a Black girl interested in science and math; having access to these Black women mathematicians and scientists who were literally within the same city limits as I was with this phenomenal story to tell, and example to set. They knew it was okay for a young Black girl to want a train set for Christmas or take bikes apart. They also knew that science and math were not just for white men. White men knew it too, but they apparently didn’t want me to know.
With STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) proficiency and interest currently at the forefront of educational priorities, math and coding are focus areas that many organizations are now promoting and supporting, particularly for young Black girls. It IS ok to be curious about numbers, computers and the stars.
This is more than just a movie about math and rockets; it is a torch to be passed to the next generation and the generation after that. Black women like Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn are real, and now the world must acknowledge them and Black girls that follow them.
Take your daughters to see Hidden Figures!
Dr. Trina Coleman is an educator, scientist, entrepreneur, and public speaker. Twitter: @drtlc @mathguistics
It's called the Jill Stein recount. Dr Stein has raised more than 7 million dollar $ to do this. Just to give you an idea of how huge this is, that's more money than she was able to raise during her whole campaign as the nominee for President of the United States by the Green Party. This is unprecedented in our history. So as with so much else in our election it is time to rethink the unthinkable.
If by chance the 3 state election recount hinged on a 537 vote victory what would happen? This is not pulling out a number randomly. This is the amount that got Bush to take Florida in 2000. So the point that I was getting to was what happens if the recount came back with less than a 1000 vote difference in all 3 states and it was about 400 here, maybe 500 there and maybe 600 there in Secretary Clinton's favor?
Let's take a step back and look at " The DONALD ". He's done his victory speech and dance. He has picked his Chief Advisor and Chief of Staff. He now has the option of getting full, unabridged daily intelligence briefings. Putin is his new BFF and his wife can head to the White House to start measuring curtains and choosing designers. He has totally named and claimed his new career. What if, just what if Donald Trump simply said " I'm not going? " What if Trump's Twitter account just blows up with one defiant " I told you the election was rigged " statement after another and he dug his heels into the front page of the New York Times and said " I'm not going? "
Well historically speaking we go to the Supreme Court and get the final ruling from them. Right? That's what we did in 2000. Well maybe not, not this time. It just so happens that the Supreme Court has had a vacancy since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. So if the court rules along Liberal, Conservative lines we would find ourselves in an unprecedented Constitutional Crises. For the first time in our history we have a leader that has never led whose main advisor ( Steve Bannon ) has never politically advised and has been quoted by the Daily Beast as saying " I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of todays establishment. "
In theory, President Obama could make a recessed appointment and have a Justice on the Court until a new one could be appointed. This would break the tie but a Republican dominated Senate would be most unappreciative. Secondly since every President starting with John Adams who was sworn in by Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth in 1797, has been sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Court. What would happen if Chief Justice Roberts ( a Republican Appointee ) just flat out refused to swear Hilary Clinton in?
Democracy like any other relationship is not judged by how you deal with the good times. It is judged by how you deal with the challenging times.
The Struggle is Never Over,
The Movie Never Really Finishes,
There Is Only Intermission.
About the Author :
Samuel J Vance III has done Political Analysis and Commentary that has been published in Otherwords,
The Sacramento Bee, blacknews.com and a host of other outlets going back to the early 90s. After a long hiatus as the
Sole - Soul caregiver of a family member Samuel is back in the saddle of his passion, once again proving that the
pen is mightier than the sword.