Thursday, March 31, 2016

HIDDEN HEROES, THE BLACK WOMEN THAT WON OUR 1962 RACE INTO SPACE

The movie "Hidden Figures," will be based on a book of the same name that's due out next year. It is about three unsung heroes,  a group of Black American Female math wizards, sometimes referred to as "human computers," who helped NASA win the space race.


The story follows Katherine Jackson, Mary Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughn, the three women who served as the brains behind NASA’s Friendship 7 mission, which saw astronaut John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962.

Pop star Janelle Monae has landed the third lead alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer ... Ted Melfi is directing the movie and producing with Chernin Entertainment and Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films...

Read More 
  http://www.thewrap.com/janelle-monae-joins-taraji-p-henson-octavia-spencer-in-fox-2000s-hidden-figures-exclusive/
Henson stars as Katherine Johnson, Monáe as Mary Jackson, and Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan. 

I don't know whether to say "Yippee! I can't wait to see it!" or "How dare they not teach us about these women in school!"  Then again, I can't say I've read about these women in black history book either.

I'm so grateful that more black women like Margot Lee Shetterly are searching out and writing other black women down-- just like Alice Walker. Did you know that most of us might not know who Zora Neale Hurston is if it weren't for 1) Zora writing about herself. 2)Alice Walker researching her and bringing her back into the public eye.

I'm also grateful that black women back in the day had sense enough to write their own memoirs. I'm realizing more and more that this is where most of black female history is located.

I hope some of you can understand in 1962 THE MATHEMATICIANS WERE THE COMPUTERS. Their brains were the computers. I don't know what NASA had in 1962 but compared to now I'll bet they mechanical computers they had were glorified calculators. These women were called on to check to see if the computer was correct. If these women had failed to do their calculations correctly, failed to time he re-entry into the atmosphere correctly, John Glenn would have been a crispy critter instead a famous astronaut.

I am absolutely proud and somewhat flabbergasted that NASA hired and trusted people that were both black and female to do this work for them. For me this just goes to show that a lot of white racism are lies to secure power and money. Most of white racism is rational decision making and not misunderstanding. If white people believed deeply in black inferiority, black bad morality etc., they wouldn't have trusted black women to nurse their children or send their white men into outer space.  



A LITTLE HISTORY ON EACH WOMAN

(and a video)

DOROTHY VAUGHN
Born in 1910, Dorothy Vaughan came to the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943, during the height of World War II, leaving her position as the math teacher at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, VA to take what she believed would be a temporary war job. 



Two years after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 into law, prohibiting racial, religious and ethnic discrimination in the country's defense industry, the laboratory began hiring black women to meet the skyrocketing demand for processing aeronautical research data. Urgency and twenty-four hour shifts prevailed-- as did Jim Crow laws which required newly-hired "colored" mathematicians to work separately from their white female counterparts. Dorothy Vaughan, [another HBCU graduate,] was assigned to the segregated "West Area Computing" unit, an all-black group of female mathematicians, who were originally required to use separate dining and bathroom facilities. Over time, both individually and as a group, the West Computers distinguished themselves with contributions to virtually every area of research at Langley.
http://thehumancomputerproject.com/women/dorothy-vaughan





MARY JACKSON
Born in 1921, Mary was a champion for her race, other minorities, and women. She suffered many indignities while holding steadfast to her personal attributes and compassion for others. Mary grew up in Hampton, Virginia, graduating with highest honors from high school and received her Bachelor of Science degrees from [another HBCU, Hampton Institute in Mathematics and Physical Science. After graduation from college, Mary was a school teacher in Maryland for awhile, then began her long career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), later National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.  

Read More: http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/crgis/images/4/4a/MaryJackson.pdf


KATHERINE JOHNSON
Born in 1918 in the little town of White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, this HBCU graduate was a research mathematician, who by her own admission, was simply fascinated by numbers. Fascinated by numbers and smart to boot, for by the time she was 10 years old, she was a high school freshman--a truly amazing feat in an era when school for African-Americans normally stopped at eighth grade for those could indulge in that luxury.
Read More or watch the video. This movie should be awesomehttp://www.nasa.gov/feature/katherine-johnson-the-girl-who-loved-to-count/




HIDDEN HEROES,BLACK WOMEN THAT WON THE 1962 RACE INTO SPACE

The movie "Hidden Figures," will be based on a book of the same name that's due out next year. It is about three unsung heroes,  a group of Black American Female math wizards, sometimes referred to as "human computers," who helped NASA win the space race.


The story follows Katherine Jackson, Mary Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughn, the three women who served as the brains behind NASA’s Friendship 7 mission, which saw astronaut John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962.

Pop star Janelle Monae has landed the third lead alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer ... Ted Melfi is directing the movie and producing with Chernin Entertainment and Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films...

Read More 
  http://www.thewrap.com/janelle-monae-joins-taraji-p-henson-octavia-spencer-in-fox-2000s-hidden-figures-exclusive/
Henson stars as Katherine Johnson, Monáe as Mary Jackson, and Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan. 

I don't know whether to say "Yippee! I can't wait to see it!" or "How dare they not teach us about these women in school!"  Then again, I can't say I've read about these women in black history book either.

I'm so grateful that more black women like Margot Lee Shetterly are searching out and writing other black women down-- just like Alice Walker. Did you know that most of us might not know who Zora Neale Hurston is if it weren't for 1) Zora writing about herself. 2)Alice Walker researching her and bringing her back into the public eye.

I'm also grateful that black women back in the day had sense enough to write their own memoirs. I'm realizing more and more that this is where most of black female history is located.

I hope some of you can understand in 1962 THE MATHEMATICIANS WERE THE COMPUTERS. Their brains were the computers. I don't know what NASA had in 1962 but compared to now I'll bet they mechanical computers they had were glorified calculators. These women were called on to check to see if the computer was correct. If these women had failed to do their calculations correctly, failed to time he re-entry into the atmosphere correctly, John Glenn would have been a crispy critter instead a famous astronaut.

I am absolutely proud and somewhat flabbergasted that NASA hired and trusted people that were both black and female to do this work for them. For me this just goes to show that a lot of white racism are lies to secure power and money. Most of white racism is rational decision making and not misunderstanding. If white people believed deeply in black inferiority, black bad morality etc., they wouldn't have trusted black women to nurse their children or send their white men into outer space.  



A LITTLE HISTORY ON EACH WOMAN

(and a video)

DOROTHY VAUGHN
Born in 1910, Dorothy Vaughan came to the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943, during the height of World War II, leaving her position as the math teacher at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, VA to take what she believed would be a temporary war job. 



Two years after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 into law, prohibiting racial, religious and ethnic discrimination in the country's defense industry, the laboratory began hiring black women to meet the skyrocketing demand for processing aeronautical research data. Urgency and twenty-four hour shifts prevailed-- as did Jim Crow laws which required newly-hired "colored" mathematicians to work separately from their white female counterparts. Dorothy Vaughan, [another HBCU graduate,] was assigned to the segregated "West Area Computing" unit, an all-black group of female mathematicians, who were originally required to use separate dining and bathroom facilities. Over time, both individually and as a group, the West Computers distinguished themselves with contributions to virtually every area of research at Langley.
http://thehumancomputerproject.com/women/dorothy-vaughan





MARY JACKSON
Born in 1921, Mary was a champion for her race, other minorities, and women. She suffered many indignities while holding steadfast to her personal attributes and compassion for others. Mary grew up in Hampton, Virginia, graduating with highest honors from high school and received her Bachelor of Science degrees from [another HBCU, Hampton Institute in Mathematics and Physical Science. After graduation from college, Mary was a school teacher in Maryland for awhile, then began her long career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), later National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.  

Read More: http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/crgis/images/4/4a/MaryJackson.pdf


KATHERINE JOHNSON
Born in 1918 in the little town of White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, this HBCU graduate was a research mathematician, who by her own admission, was simply fascinated by numbers. Fascinated by numbers and smart to boot, for by the time she was 10 years old, she was a high school freshman--a truly amazing feat in an era when school for African-Americans normally stopped at eighth grade for those could indulge in that luxury.
Read More or watch the video. This movie should be awesomehttp://www.nasa.gov/feature/katherine-johnson-the-girl-who-loved-to-count/



IDA B WELLS FELLOWSHIP LAUNCHED TOWARD DIVERISTY IN JOURNALISM

Feeling Rebloggy

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship was launched by The Nation Institute in March 2016 to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of color who bring diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interests to their work.


The fellowship honors Ida B. Wells, the pioneering African-American activist and investigative reporter who, during the Jim Crow era, led the nation’s first campaign against lynching. Born into slavery and orphaned at age 16, Wells not only dispelled stereotypes regarding rape and lasciviousness that led to black men and women being lynched, but revealed that often these victims’ only "crimes" were threatening white supremacy through acts of resistance or achievement. She continued her reporting in the face of death threats.


The one-year fellowship helps reporters complete their first substantial work of investigative reporting, by providing a $10,000 award and editorial advice from a dedicated Investigative Fund editor. Fellows will receive funds to cover travel and other reporting costs, and the costs associated with attending the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference. They will also enjoy access to research resources, legal assistance, professional mentors, and assistance with story placement and publicity.
 
Applications for 2016 are due April 18. 
Winners will be announced in May.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WILLIAM AND THE 1.5 MILLION BLACK WOMEN MISSING 1.5 MILLION BLACK MEN

Dear "William".

Just know it's not personal.



What follows make more sense if you take two minutes to listen to the poem first.

This poem covers so much ground, and so honestly. As someone else already said, It is beautiful and sad at the same time. Yet, I also see tragedy if lessons aren't learned.


The older I get though, the more I realize there's just as much "difference" to be overcome just being different by gender as there is to overcome by being different by race.

The defense of Clarence Thomas back in the day, Ray Rice and Bill Cosby lately, have all made this crystal clear. There are so many or our men who are completely unwilling to make an effort to see sexism and root it out of themselves because it simply seems normal-- just like the white people unconscious about white supremacy and racism. The dominance and sexism in the black and white community and the dominant culture racism in the white community, are all passively learned at home, school, church, synagogue, and mosque.
But sexism and racism both have to be actively rooted out using the empathy muscle.


In a white man these problems may be compounded, as he can be totally unconscious about racism and sexism both. Still, to me, love becomes less and less about "how different is he from me" and more about "does this person feel good when I talk to him" and then not too much later on, "how much ground has this person already covered in learning other human beings not like himself" BEFORE he met me.


If a black man hasn't done the work to see and respect **different but equal** when he looks at a black woman he's probably not much "better" than a white man that hasn't done the work to see and respect **different but equal**

It truly ought to be easier to be with someone who understands the black experience. But I'm thinking this may not be so. I am beginning to realize that black history books erase black women just like white history books erase black people. I'm thinking this absence of respect for black women leaks out in the day to day in ways not immediately recognizable, not nearly as recognizable as racism-leaks. I think this absence of respect is why so many black women refuse to marry or remain to stay married.


However, it ought to be easier with a black man that's willing to see his privilege just as easily as he sees his oppression. I believe this. I just think this is very hard to find.


If 1.5 million black men are really missing, as that famous NY Times Article says, then that explains the competition between women that I already see. I don't like it, but I understand it. I understand the jealousy between women. I understand one woman ignoring of pain she has caused to another woman by a being with a cheat willing to cheat his girlfriend, his wife, his family.

One and a half million black women missing 1.5 million black men explains the childishly entitled behavior of a black man who consider himself God's gift to you just by having a half way decent job. People who have too many choices behaved as if they are princes, sitting on high, because they have been spoiled.

I keep thinking that spoiled men are just like some of these spoiled stars that marry over and over again. Elizabeth Taylor probably thought in the back of mind, "I'm gorgeous. I'm rich. I don't have to put up with his leaving the toilet seat up over and over. I told him 3 times already. It's time for him to be replaced. NEXT!!!"


In addition to being spoiled by too much attention and too many choices, many black men, just like black women, are affected by what they see in the media every day. There's a certain percentage that see and embrace the white aesthetic. Only a very small percentage of black men is attracted to white women and only white women. I think black marriage stats bear this out. But a much, much larger percentage? They want the next best thing to a white woman if what we see in the media is any indication.

There's a reason Beyonce's paler than she was when she began her career and even maintains her no longer new, long, blond locks in a sea of afros during a Black Panther styled halftime performance. These black girls running up and down the street with waist-length, bone-straight hair may be misguided but they are not insane. They've seen the what the black girls in rap and hip-hop videos look like. They've seen who black athletes wear on their arms like human Rolex-es. They've seen what's presented as the beautiful girl in 3/4 of the black movies they've seen. And all this "seeing" means they know what a sizable chunk of our men really want.


And the natural hair revolution going on in the female side of the black community? This is bringing the "good hair" debate back from decades ago, quiet as it's kept. This form of hair politics is pre-weave and pre-creamy crack. This involves what black men find attractive too.


All of this, together, means that black women need to keep their options open.

And part of what that means is that black women need to realize and accept that there are going to be huge obstacles to be overcome no matter what race the man who catches her eye is.




Black women need to also keep in mind that white men aren't the only alternative.


Men of other races have white supremacy experiences that may not be the same as the black experience of white supremacy. But those that are "woke" enough to reject light supremacy as well as white supremacy can empathize a heck of a lot more easily than a man that is white who has been swimming in white supremacy and male supremacy, both, for decades without even noticing it.

It's okay for women to have preference. And, in my opinion, wanting someone from the same racial culture is a lot more legitimate than having a preference for a specific hair color, body shape, height, or musculature because race/ethnicity is a huge determine-er of life experience in this country.

All preferences, even "the shallow" ones, are fine so long as they remain preferences. Once these physical preferences, these things that please the eye, become "requirements" maybe they stop you from meeting someone whose soul compliments yours perfectly.  

And using a race/ethnicity preference with too hard a line and too little flexibility can do the same thing -- stop you from meeting someone whose soul fits yours like you are two pieces of the same puzzle.

Maybe?

updated 4 3 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NO CREAMY CRACK FOR MADAM C J WALKER

In fact, Madam C J Walker should probably counted as the original Naturalista.  Again, she did not invent the relaxer. G.A. Morgan and Annie Malone both invented relaxers.* 

 
Some of us might turn up our noses at some of of Walker's ingredients these days--petrolatum, beeswax, copper sulfate, precipitated sulfur, coconut oil and violet extract. But she didn't sell chemical straighteners for hair. She did not invent the creamy crack. She didn't even invent the first hot comb. She only modified the french hot comb for black women.



Another word for chemical relaxers (perms). 
must be retouched every 6 to 8 weeks,
and become reliant on them, like a crackhead on crack.



Sarah Breedlove, who would later marry and become Mrs. Charles Joseph Walker, was into healing the scalp and healthy hair growth.




It is G.A. Morgan, famous on black websites everywhere for inventing the gas mask and the traffic light, that deserves some the credit for inventing creamy crack, otherwise known as hair relaxer.


G A MORGAN - Inventor of Gas Mask, Traffic Light, and one of the first hair relaxers



     In 1909, Morgan was working with sewing machines in his newly opened tailoring shop—a business he had opened with wife Mary, who had experience as a seamstress—when he encountered woolen fabric that had been scorched by a sewing-machine needle. It was a common problem at the time, since sewing-machine needles ran at such high speeds. In hopes of alleviating the problem, Morgan experimented with a chemical solution in an effort to reduce friction created by the needle, and subsequently noticed that the hairs of the cloth were straighter.
     After trying his solution to good effect on a neighboring dog's fur, Morgan finally tested the concoction on himself. When that worked, he quickly established the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company and sold the cream to African Americans. The company was incredibly successful, bringing Morgan financial security and allowing him to pursue other interests.


Good Thing Mr. Morgan doesn't need the money from hair straightening how. Relaxer sales reportedly dropped 26% in 2014


ANNIE TURNBO MALONE

STARTED BY FOCUSING ON HEALTHY HAIR


BUT WITH THE HELP OF AN AUNT SHE WOULD  CREATE CHEMICAL STRAIGHTENERS FOR BLACK HAIR





While experimenting with hair and different hair care products, she developed and manufactured her own line of non-damaging hair straighteners, special oils, and hair-stimulant products for African-American women.[4] She named her new product “Wonderful Hair Grower”[5] To promote her new product, Turnbo sold the Wonderful Hair Grower in bottles from door-to-door.[5] She began to revolutionize hair care methods for all African Americans....
One of her selling agents, Sarah Breedlove (who became known as Madam C. J. Walker when she set up her own business), encouraged Turnbo to copyright her products under the name "Poro" because of what she called fraudulent imitations and to discourage counterfeit versions.



Malone's business thrived until she wound up in a battle for control of her business with her second husband, Aaron Eugene Malone. She'd left some of the day to day affairs in his hands as manager. And he eventually claimed he was responsible for 1/2 of the success of the business.  She suffered another blow when a former employee also sued her, claiming credit for Annie Malone's success. This lawsuit forced her to sell property in order to pay the settlement. Eventually, the government would come after for back taxes.


* * * * *
Life was hard on Sarah Breedlove from an early age. Her parents died when she was a child. She wound up marrying young. And her husband died by the time she was 20.


When Sarah Breedlove took her children and moved to St. Louis Missouri, the middle class women in the church she attended helped her to see herself as more than a washer woman. She learned philanthropy and entrepreneurship, both, from these church women. And she started her first charity drive at this black church.




When a scalp condition caused her to lose her hair she became ashamed of her appearance. She started her hair company by finding a solution for her own scalp condition. Later, when asked how she started her hair care business she would say that she prayed for a solution and a big African man appeared to her in a dream. She wound up ordering ingredients from Africa and used them to create a a shampoo and an ointment. With her own scalp healed and her hair began growing as it never had before she became a walking advertisement for product she was making in her own home.

Eventually she was selling her product door to door.


In 1906 she married Charles Joseph Walker and Ms. C J Walker was born. Mr. Walker would help her with advertising the business. They would travel door to door together, selling her products and demonstrating the products. They would eventually divorce when Madam Walker wanted to expand the business and Mr. Walker did not.



Madam Walker would eventually open a beauty school and then a factory. She hired black women to be "Walker Agents." Forty to fifty years after slavery, there were few job opportunities for black women other than that of domestic, with a few lucky women able to become teachers and nurses. But thousands of black women gained economic independence working for Madam C J Walker.

As her company grew, she encouraged the black women that worked for her to stand for racial equality and the equality of women.  She wanted her Walker Agents to show themselves not just as professionals but as people who give back to the community. During her 1917 Convention for Walker Agents, Madam Walker gave prizes to women that sold the most product and got the most clients but also to women who gave the most to charity.


At their Beauty Salons the walker agents would talk to clients about what black women could do to help their churches, their schools in their communities. (I'm reading a book right now that talks black women like these making the black church strong enough, connected to one another enough to make it good base for The Modern Civil Rights Movement a few decades later)



By 1910 The Walker Company had employed some 5000 black female agents around the world, and averaged revenues of about $1000 dollars a day, seven days a week...Upon her death in 1919, her will stipulated that two-thirds of her fortune go to various charities and that her company always be controlled by a woman


Contributor to the Black Women's Club Movement, Madam Walker was also a part of black suffrage and also the anti-lynching movement. She was a signer on the letter to President Woodrow Wilson, demanding that he make lynching a federal crime. She seems to have counted Ida B Wells, the original anti-lynching activist, as a friend and also contributed money to the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign.

She became famous nationwide when she contributed $1000 to the building fund of a YMCA for young black boys.  And it sounds like she may have built something in Indianapolis that sounds like one of the first malls, the Madam Walker Theater Center....





Madam C. J. Walker

Employer Of Black Women

Philanthropist


Political Activist

Naturalista

First Woman in the United States, of any color, to become a self-made millionaire  










Walker told her friend Ida B. Wells, the journalist and anti-lynching activist,
 that after working so hard all her life
— first as a farm laborer, then as a maid and a cook,
and finally as the founder of an international hair care enterprise
— she wanted a place to relax and garden and entertain her friends.

She also wanted to make a statement,
so it was no accident that she purchased four and a half acres in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York,
not far from Jay Gould’s Lyndhurst and John D. Rockefeller’s Kykuit
amidst America’s wealthiest families.
.
She directed....the architect
— to position the 34-room mansion close to the village’s main thoroughfare
so it was easily visible by travelers en route from Manhattan to Albany...
.

[H]er new [white] neighbors were “puzzled” and “gasped in astonishment”
when they learned that a black woman was the owner.
“Impossible!” they exclaimed. “No woman of her race could afford such a place.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/national-trust-for-historic-preservation/do-big-things-madam-cj-wa_b_6029236.html

* - Like the light bulb, the relaxer probably had simultaneous multiple inventors in multiple places around the world that didn't know about each other. I'm not sure who was first. 


Monday, March 28, 2016

AVA DuVERNAY ON REDEFINING SUCCESS

Feeling Rebloggy
AVA SPEAKS
ON LIFE LESSONS LEARNED OVER 
THE COURSE OF HER SUCCESSES


During the creation of her first film was "I Will Follow" 


...On the opening day of "I Will Follow"...then the film went on and it did well and it built autonomy and independence and community and it set up AFFRM (black distribution collective) in way that I intended....And it was all about distributing films in  that moment for me, and proviing our model, and our worth as black film makers, and proving myself


And I gave my intention every ounce of my attention...and it was a beautiful day
I felt like I achieved my intention
But later I saw my error

During the creation of her second film was "Middle Of Nowhere"

All I was thinking about was Sundance...We won an award...The film was launched into the world...


I felt like I achieved my intention
But later I saw my error...

Her worth was outside of herself.  She never felt better than when she was celebrating her successes, when she crossed her self defined finish lines, but that high feeling didn't last. She realized that her intention was misplaced.




SELMA

So she went into Selma with a totally different mindset


Hear More:




[There are four] things that are putting Ms. DuVernay on the path to long-term impact, and how they might apply to your personal and corporate brands:


1.  It can’t just be about you. The people and brands that resonate are focused on adding value to others. Goals that focus only on personal or corporate success are small. Ask yourself, how can we use our success to improve things for everyone? Answer that question, and it will be easier to recruit others to your mission. For personal brands, Porras, Emery and Thompson’s Success Built To Last: Creating A Life That Matters is a great starting point. On a corporate level, look at Havas Media’s Meaningful Brands Index for the companies that are adding value to the world. The key, I think, to DuVernay’s peace of mind is that she’s motivated by a desire to both create excellent films and create real diversity in the marketplace. She’s doing both.


Read More
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robfields/2015/02/02/four-brand-building-lessons-from-ava-duvernay-2/2/#7cc0c4c2e4f5

THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY
Chimamanda Adichie

"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories.
Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her
authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single
story about another person or country, we risk a critical
misunderstanding."

Learn while being entertained. 

A born story teller, this Woman.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of "Americanah," and guest speaker/rapper(?) on a Beyonce song.

She explains the danger that all of us of face by only knowing the details of our own tribe, whether the commonality of our tribe is based on race, class, or nationality, how only knowing our own tribe makes everybody else in every other tribe seem flat, lesser, and easier to stereotype.

It's all so simple when you let her explain it.













Sunday, March 27, 2016

STROLLING EPISODE 4: BRITAIN - Untold Stories of the African Diaspora

Connecting The Scattered 
And Untold Stories 
of the 

Black/African Diaspora

Britain, Episode 4



Poverty
Mental Health
Colorism
Rat Race
Capitalism




Saturday, March 26, 2016

11 FEMINISTS SHARE THE BEST ADVICE THEY GOT FROM OTHER WOMEN

Mia McKenzie
of
Black Girl Dangerous


"My aunt, Frances Diane Wright, is the only one of my grandparents' children who ever moved away from Philadelphia. She was our favorite aunt, but she was always gone.
"I missed her, but what I grew to understand about her was that she was someone who was willing to go out into the world to look for her life. 
"She taught me how to leave. And not being afraid to leave — whether it was leaving a city or a job I didn't love or a bad relationship — has opened the door to every great thing I've managed to do in my life."
 * * * * *



Feminista Jones
"The most influential thing another woman has ever taught me is that my womanhood is personal and that I am in control of my own narrative...

Janet Mock

"Right before my book was released, I began building a close friendship with another black woman writer. During one of our lunches, she gripped my hand across the table and looked me in the eye: 'Who has spoken to you about money, baby?' It was a powerful moment of care that made me feel deeply uncomfortable....




READ MORE, especially Marina Watanabe's quote on Owing Prettiness

Friday, March 25, 2016

RADICAL BROWNIES


For those not in the know, when a girl says she is a "brownie"  she means she's in the pre-girl scout. "Brownies" are to girl scouts as cub scouts and the boy scouts.



But the Radical Brownies are something a little different. Radical Brownies are a social justice oriented group. Instead of girls getting something like a "hostess badge" they can get a "Black Lives Matter" badge or an "LGBT Ally" badge.

[Radical Brownie] Co-founder Anayvette Martinez says the idea stemmed from her own daughter: “I saw the need for a group that would empower and encourage her to form bonds of sisterhood with other girls in her community. I began to imagine what a radical young girl’s social justice troop looked like; a group that centered and affirmed her experiences as a beautiful and brilliant brown girl against so many societal pressures to conform to mainstream ideals of girlhood.”












The group also arrives at a time when non-white girls in the US find their identities policed on multiple axes. In schools, they already face disproportionate (and stratified) discrimination and are suspended at rates that far eclipse those of their white peersStudies repeatedly show that suspensions can serve as a gateway in the “school-to-prison pipeline”, and often they are issued for reasons that boil down to the girls not being “ladylike” enough.

Radical Brownies teach girls to value themselves just as much as they value others. Sexism is real and it's real from a young age. This is an idea that should have come along a long time ago.  Put 
Anayvette Martinez on your list of heroes. 
Right now this seems like it's only located in Oakland. May this idea spread across the land.  Black and Brown girls need this. 



The link to an article on school discipline for girls again.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/11/us/school-discipline-to-girls-differs-between-and-within-races.html?_r=0

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NICHELLE NICHOLS: GLASS CEILING BREAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE


You DID know that Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura of Star Trek, didn't know her place in television history until Dr. Martin Luther King told her, right?

She was going to quit Star Trek until King spoke to her.

I never get tired of hear her tell her story of meeting King in the video below.

But did you also know that after the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA



In 1975, Nichols established Women in Motion, Inc., a company that produced educational materials using music as a teaching tool and was expanded to become an astronaut recruitment tool after Nichols won a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This resulted in thousands of women and minorities applying to NASA’s space program, such as Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, and Ellison Onizuka. In addition to her autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories (1994), Nichols is co-author of Saturn’s Child (1995), and a contributor to publications of the National Space Institute.


In October of 1984, Nichols was presented with NASA’s Public Service Award for her many efforts towards integrating the U.S. space program. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992, and became the first African American actress to place her handprints in front of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, along with the rest of the Star Trek cast. Nichols was elected as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and, on June 8, 2010, she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Los Angeles Mission College.
Jeannette Epps, Joan Higginbotham,
Beth Brown*, Mae Jemison, Stephanie Wilson
* Astro Physicists

A photo of 
some of the black women 
that went onto be astronauts
once Nichelle made sure that
glass ceiling was broken

Yvonne Cagle
missed the group photo











Read More About Nichelle 
(There's plenty to know about this amazing woman)
Nichelle Nichols meets Martin Luther King, Jr
Hearing her tell this story never ceases to move me. THIS is what Star Trek is all about.
Posted by Women of Star Trek on Monday, January 21, 2013