Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States, Women on 2019-04-17 22:47Z by Steven

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Atheneum Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Simon and Schuster)
September 2019
288 pages
Hardcover ISBN 13: 9781534440838
eBook ISBN 13: 9781534440852

Katherine Johnson

The inspiring autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch Apollo 11.

Throughout Katherine Johnson’s extraordinary career, there hasn’t been a boundary she hasn’t broken through or a ceiling she hasn’t shattered. In the early 1950s, she joined the organization that would one day become NASA, and which had only just begun to hire black mathematicians. Her job there was to analyze data and calculate the complex equations needed for successful space flights. As a black woman in an era of brutal racism and sexism, Katherine faced daily challenges and often wasn’t taken seriously by the scientists and engineers she worked with. But her colleagues couldn’t ignore her obvious gifts—or her persistence. Soon she was computing the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s first flight and working on the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Katherine’s life has been a succession of achievements, each one greater than the last.

Katherine Johnson’s story was made famous in the bestselling book and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Now in Reaching for the Moon she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.

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I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2019-04-17 14:08Z by Steven

I Don’t Need a DNA Test to Tell Me How Black I Am

The New York Times
2019-04-16

Erin Aubry Kaplan, Contributing Opinion Writer


Simone Noronha

Tests like 23andMe are a fad that distracts us from the reality of race in America.

When my sister called me a few months ago to say, a little breathlessly, that she had gotten back her results from 23andMe, I snapped at her, “I don’t want to know!” She kept trying to share, but I kept shutting her down, before saying I had to go and hanging up. Afterward I felt a little shaky, as if I’d narrowly escaped disaster.

I’ve never been interested in DNA tests. I have nothing against people discovering they’re 18 percent German or 79 percent Irish, but I think the tests are a fad that distracts us from the harsh realities of race and identity in America. They encourage us to pretend that in terms of shaping who we really are, individual narratives matter more than the narrative of the country as a whole. There is no test for separation and tribalism, and yet they are baked into our cultural DNA.

But that didn’t explain the panic I felt during that phone call. I was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t take the news, whatever that news turned out to be. And then I realized that was it: I didn’t want to “turn out to be” anything more than what I was. I didn’t want my blackness divvied up or deconstructed any more than it has already been, not just in my lifetime but in the history of the Creole people of Louisiana I descend from…

Read the entire article here.

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Participants Wanted for Research on the Influences of Psychocultural Factors and Self-Stigma of Seeking Psychological Help on Biracial Individuals’ Counseling Utilization

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2019-04-17 13:50Z by Steven

Participants Wanted for Research on the Influences of Psychocultural Factors and Self-Stigma of Seeking Psychological Help on Biracial Individuals’ Counseling Utilization

Georgia State University
IRB Number: H19540
2019-04-17

Mary Huffstead, M.Ed., LPC, NCC

I am a researcher, recruiting participants for a study examining relationships between racial identity, discrimination, mental health stigma and counseling use.

In this study you will complete survey items about experiences of discrimination, racial identity and beliefs about counseling as a biracial individual. The study takes 20-40 minutes overall. There is no compensation for participating in this study, however, your
participation will contribute to the scientific community by increasing the awareness of factors that may contribute to the develop of counseling outreach efforts and therapeutic outcomes for Biracial individuals.

Anyone who identifies as Biracial (i.e. identifying with two racial groups or ethnicity: African American/Black, Asian American, Caucasian/ White Native American, or Hispanic/Latino) and is over the age of 18 can participate in this study. Up to 1,000 people will participate in this study. The survey is administered on an online platform called Qualtrics.

Participation in the study is expected to take 20-40 minutes. The research will not provide direct benefits to you but it will benefit the scientific community through increasing awareness of factors that may contribute to the development of therapeutic alliance and counseling outreach when working with Biracial individuals.

Participation is confidential and participants may withdraw from the study at any time.

To participate in the survey, click here.

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Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2019-04-15 18:04Z by Steven

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Oxford University Press
2019-08-05
288 Pages
28 b/w images, 2 maps
6-1/8 x 9¼ inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190846992

W. Caleb McDaniel, Associate Professor of History
Rice University, Houston, Texas

  • The epic, unique, and haunting story an enslaved woman and her quest for justice
  • Incorporates recent scholarship on slavery, reparations, and the ongoing connection between slavery and incarceration of black Americans
  • McDaniel received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities that enabled him to write this book

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood’s employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: in 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. The decision stuck on appeal. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all. By the time the case was decided, Ward had become a wealthy businessman and a pioneer of convict leasing in the South. Wood’s son later became a prominent Chicago lawyer, and she went on to live until 1912.

McDaniel’s book is an epic tale of a black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, A Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.

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BWW Review: THE DAY I BECAME BLACK at Soho Playhouse

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2019-04-12 02:39Z by Steven

BWW Review: THE DAY I BECAME BLACK at Soho Playhouse

Broadway World
Off-Broadway
2019-04-08

Derek McCraken

BWW Review: THE DAY I BECAME BLACK at Soho Playhouse

Wake up! Bill Posley has a stunner of a story to tell, and although comedy may not resolve his existential crisis, it’s a trip well worth taking with him at Soho Playhouse. Witty, fearless and “woke as f***,” Posley describes (and often reenacts) parts of his lived experience as a biracial man in search of an identity. Feeling too black for white people and not black enough for black people, he regales us with anecdotes that, although amusing in their own right, are also the kind of antidote that our racially fractured country needs right now.

How do you help an integrated audience in an intimate theatrical space feel at ease? Posley’s style: assure white people it’s ok to laugh, then ask black people not to stare at them. Ironically (deliberately?) he doesn’t specifically address any potentially biracial audience members.

To ease us into his culturally conflicted space, Posley shares the many micro-aggressions he endures, such as the intrusive and objectifying question he fields way too frequently. He asks, in an incredulous Valley Girl dialect, “Omigod, like, what ARE you?” Then he deadpans his response: “A Costco member.”

Against the backdrop of having been born biracial into a Massachusetts family, and raised in a culture that demanded he identify as black or white but never both, Posley invites us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. He first assumes the role of our “beginning black friend,” but this initial duality soon manifests itself as a multi-generational multiplicity: with a slight change of posture and modification of his voice, he embodies his well-intentioned but metaphor-mangling black father, his fierce black grandmother (Grammy), and “Karen at Starbucks,” a white privileged prima donna who unleashes a belittling barrage of complaints directed at Posley, her barista. Let’s just say that his response to her was anything but basic…

Read the entire article here.

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The Day I Became Black

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2019-04-12 02:26Z by Steven

The Day I Became Black

Soho Playhouse
15 Vandam Street
New York, New York 10013
Telephone: (212) 691-1555
2019-04-12 through 2019-04-19

Bi-racial comedian Bill Posley grew up happily identifying as both black and white. But at age 10, he learned the world does, in fact, judge a book by its color and, even though he’s half white, he’s labeled 100% black. Does a young comedian have to get rid of his whiteness in order to be the color he’s “supposed” to be? Hear Posley weigh in on the modern-day conversation about race from a unique perspective.

For more information, click here.

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Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-04-12 02:12Z by Steven

Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

New Haven Register
2019-02-27

David L. Goodwin, Staff Attorney
Appellate Advocates, New York, New York

Van C. Tran, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Columbia University, New York, New York

Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo / AP
Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo

The struggle for inclusion and diversity in politics has ensued for decades, but for the first time in U.S. history, the rising political power of black women took center stage in the 2018 election. Last November, Harris County [Texas] made history by electing 17 black female judges to the bench — a group of candidates widely known as “Black Girl Magic.”

Their victory was extraordinary and unprecedented. Black female judges were the exception, not the norm, in the judiciary. In 1966, Judge Constance Baker Motley, appointed to the Southern District of New York by President Lyndon Johnson, became the first black woman to serve as a federal district judge. In 1979, Judge Amalya Kearse, appointed to the Second Circuit by President Carter, was the first black woman to be appointed to a federal Court of Appeals.

Three decades before these “first” appointments, Judge Jane Bolin (1908-2007) held the honor of being the first African-American female judge in the United States

Read the entire article here.

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Yaller Gal – The Fortnightly Word

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-04-12 01:18Z by Steven

Yaller Gal – The Fortnightly Word

This Cruel War: An Evidence-Based Exploration of the Causes and Ramifications of the American Civil War
2016-10-03

One of the things that keeps us from easily accessing primary sources is their language. Though documents from our past are in English, it’s often a very different creation than we know now. I enjoy discovering and understanding words almost as much as I enjoy history. From time to time, I’ll share one of these new old words that I come across. By learning about words we no longer use, we can better understand the past.

The Word this Week is “Yaller Gal.”

I first came across this word while reading some of the slave narratives recorded in the 1930s. Here are a few of examples of how they were used:…

…The word was also used to describe varieties of grits (“yaller hominy”), cake, and even cats. In that light, it seems pretty obvious that “yaller” is “yellow” in a Southern dialect. But while yellow hominy, yellow cake and yellow cats all make sense, what is a yellow girl?

Though Mrs. Southwell’s quote above might be evidence enough, another from Texas makes it clear.

“When massa come home that evening his wife hardly say nothing to him, and he ask her what the matter and she tells him, ‘Since you asks me, I’m studying in my mind about them white young’uns of that yaller nigger wench from Baton Rouge.’ He say, ‘Now, honey, I fetched that gal just for you, because she a fine seamster.’ She say, ‘It look kind of funny they got the same kind of hair and eyes as my children and they got a nose looks like yours.’ He say, ‘Honey, you just paying attention to talk of little children that ain’t got no mind to what they say.’ She say, ‘Over in Mississippi I got a home and plenty with my daddy and I got that in my mind.’” –Mary Reynolds, Black River, Louisiana.

Plainly speaking, a “yaller girl” was a mulatto, a person of mixed-race conceived through some combination of black and white parentage.1 The four examples used above don’t go into too much detail. It was, for the time, a very understood phrase.

A yaller girl had very light skin, but was still considered nonwhite. For many enslavers, when it came to yaller girls, the more white the better. Of course, she could not be purely white, but the more white in her, the more she was wanted as a sex slave…

Read the entire article here.

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Ninth Avenue

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2019-04-12 00:52Z by Steven

Ninth Avenue

Avon Publishing Company
1951 (originally published in 1926)
267 pages

Maxwell Bodenheim (1892-1954)

He Loved Her Too Much To Marry Her — Without Telling Of His Negro Blood!

Ninth Avenue is about a poor hard-ass Irish-Catholic family in Hell’s Kitchen New York, who’s daughter, through all the racist trials and tribulations, falls in love with a black man and they go off to marry and live happily ever after.” —Michael Sampson Sweeney, HOBOHEMIA – The Life and Writings of Maxwell Bodenheim.

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The Passer

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2019-04-10 16:35Z by Steven

The Passer

Midwood/Tower
1962
189 pages
Catalog ID: F170

Sam Mervin Jr. (1910-1996)

Fred Williams had a secret—He was half negro passing as all white; but the many white women who vied for his arms made no secret of what they wanted.

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