Katherine Johnson, the NASA Mathematician Who Advanced Human Rights with a Slide Rule and Pencil

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-23 19:52Z by Steven

Katherine Johnson, the NASA Mathematician Who Advanced Human Rights with a Slide Rule and Pencil

Vanity Fair
September 2016

Charles Bolden, Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Katherine Johnson, photographed at Fort Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

NASA chief Charles Bolden recalls the historic trajectory of the “human computer” who played a key role in the Apollo 11 moon landing, and as a female African-American in the 1960s, shattered stereotypes in the process.

When I was growing up, in segregated South Carolina, African-American role models in national life were few and far between. Later, when my fellow flight students and I, in training at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi, clustered around a small television watching the Apollo 11 moon landing, little did I know that one of the key figures responsible for its success was an unassuming black woman from West Virginia: Katherine Johnson. Hidden Figures is both an upcoming book and an upcoming movie about her incredible life, and, as the title suggests, Katherine worked behind the scenes but with incredible impact…

..“In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong,” she said. Her succinct words belie a deep curiosity about the world and dedication to her discipline, despite the prejudices of her time against both women and African-Americans. It was her duty to calculate orbital trajectories and flight times relative to the position of the moon—you know, simple things. In this day and age, when we increasingly rely on technology, it’s hard to believe that John Glenn himself tasked Katherine to double-check the results of the computer calculations before his historic orbital flight, the first by an American. The numbers of the human computer and the machine matched.

With a slide rule and a pencil, Katherine advanced the cause of human rights and the frontier of human achievement at the same time. Having graduated from high school at 14 and college at 18 at a time when African-Americans often did not go beyond the eighth grade, she used her amazing facility with geometry to calculate Alan Shepard’s flight path and took the Apollo 11 crew to the moon to orbit it, land on it, and return safely to Earth…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Michaela Angela Davis Strips Down For The “What’s Underneath Project,” Talks Racism, Insecurities

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2016-08-22 23:28Z by Steven

Michaela Angela Davis Strips Down For The “What’s Underneath Project,” Talks Racism, Insecurities

Madame Noire
2016-08-22

Brande Victorian, Managing Editor

Michaela Angela Davis has long been everything and then some to us, and our opinion of the writer, culture critique, and activist has only skyrocketed after watching her strip down for StyleLikeU’s highly regarded “What’s Underneath Project.”…

…And we’re thankful for that. Here are the highlights from Davis’ interview:

On assumptions people make about her because of how she looks

“The first, sort of obvious assumption is that I’m mixed race– like one parent is white, one parent is Black — and it’s not so. Both of my parents are light-skinned and Black. Both of my parents are products of what I call the great horror story of America and the great love story of America. In order to survive, often families would marry other light-skinned Blacks to stay alive…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

‘War Brides of Japan’ To Take Focus in New Documentary

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-22 23:18Z by Steven

‘War Brides of Japan’ To Take Focus in New Documentary

NBC News
2016-08-10

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Journalist and filmmaker Yayoi Lena Winfrey is looking for more Japanese “war brides” to interview as she completes the filming for her feature-length documentary film, “War Brides of Japan.” With many of these women in their mid-80s, Winfrey said that time is critical to document their stories. With interviews already scheduled for 11 and their adult children in eight cities and three states this month, Winfrey hopes to find more women and families to interview along the way…

According to Winfrey, approximately 50,000 “war brides” came to the United States from Japan starting in 1947. Many were disowned by their families for marrying those who had bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then occupied Japan, Winfrey said. Others were rejected by their American in-laws for being foreigners. Some were abandoned by the American servicemen who married them while some were also ostracized by the Japanese-American community, only just released from the incarceration camps of World War II. Some were falsely stereotyped as prostitutes, while others were blamed for causing World War II, she said…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Eyes Wide Cut: The American Origins of Korea’s Plastic Surgery Craze

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-17 02:16Z by Steven

Eyes Wide Cut: The American Origins of Korea’s Plastic Surgery Craze

The Wilson Quarterly
Fall 2015

Laura Kurek

South Korea’s obsession with cosmetic surgery can be traced back to an American doctor, raising uneasy questions about beauty standards.

At sixteen stories high, the doctor’s office looms over the neon-colored metropolis. Within the high-rise, consultation offices, operating rooms, and recovery suites occupy most floors. Additional floors house a dental clinic, a rooftop lounge, and apartments for long-term stays. This is Beauty Korea (BK), a one-stop, full-service plastic surgery facility in the heart of Seoul, South Korea.

South Korea has an obsession with plastic surgery. One in five South Korean women has undergone some type of cosmetic procedure, compared with one in twenty in the United States. With plastic surgery’s staggering rise in popularity, an attractive physical appearance is now the sine qua non for a successful career. Undergoing surgery to achieve an employable face in South Korea is just as commonplace as going to the gym in America.

The most popular surgery is Asian blepharoplasty, the process of changing the Asian eyelid, commonly referred to as the “monolid,” into a double eyelid. The second is rhinoplasty, or a nose job. The prevalence of these two procedures, especially the “double-eyelid” operation, has led to a delicate question: Are South Koreans are seeking to westernize their appearance? Cosmetic surgeons and scholars tread lightly around the issue. Some argue that Western culture — a broad and imperfect term — cannot claim “big eyes” as unique to its definition of beauty. Others note that only 50 percent of the Asian population is born with monolids. Some practitioners, including Dr. Hyuenong Park of OZ Cosmetic Clinic and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Kenneth Steinsapir, deny altogether that double-eyelid surgery is intended to make its recipient appear more Western.

The story of an American surgeon in the postwar Korea of the 1950s, however, suggests otherwise…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Half-Caste Actresses in Colonial Brazilian Opera Houses

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Women on 2016-08-16 18:38Z by Steven

Half-Caste Actresses in Colonial Brazilian Opera Houses

Latin American Theatre Review
Volume 45, Number 2, Spring 2012
pages 57-71
DOI: 10.1353/ltr.2012.0016

Rosana Marreco Brescia
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Operatic and theatrical historians in both Brazil and Portugal frequently mention that around the last quarter of the 18th century, Queen Maria I forbade women to perform on public stages in Portugal. However, it seems that the impresarios and owners of opera houses in colonial Brazil were unaware of this prohibition, since I have found several references to actresses performing in many of the permanent theatres at the end of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th century. The great majority of these actresses were half-caste women. The most remarkable example is the case of soprano Joaquina Lapinha, prima donna of the Opera Nova in Rio de Janeiro, and probably the only native Luso-American singer to perform in a European theatre in the 18th century. This article considers the employment of actresses in the opera houses of São Paulo, Vila Rica, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto Alegre, showing how the impresarios of these public theatres managed to provide their companies with the necessary human resources.

Tags: , , ,

Taraji P. Henson Is a Math Genius in ‘Hidden Figures’ First Trailer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-16 01:43Z by Steven

Taraji P. Henson Is a Math Genius in ‘Hidden Figures’ First Trailer

Variety
2016-08-15

Dave McNary, Film Reporter

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae break the glass ceiling — among other barriers — in the first trailer for the NASA drama “Hidden Figures,” which debuted Sunday night during the Rio Olympics.

The teaser opens with Henson’s Katherine Johnson character as a young girl, filling up a classroom blackboard with mathematical formulas, prompting her teacher to tell her parents, “I’ve never seen a mind like your daughter has.”…

In addition to Henson, Spencer portrays Dorothy Vaughan and Monae plays Mary Jackson as a trio of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit — a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

NASA Facility Dedicated to Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-16 00:21Z by Steven

NASA Facility Dedicated to Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Space.com
2016-05-05

Sarah Lewin, Staff Writer


Katherine Johnson, pictured here at NASA’s Langley Research Center, where she worked as a “computer” and mathematician from 1953 to 1986. Langley dedicated a computing facility to Johnson in a ceremony today (May 5).
Credit: NASA

NASA honored 97-year-old mathematician Katherine Johnson today (May 5) by dedicating a building in her name at the space agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Speakers at today’s ceremony included Virginia congressmen and the mayor of Hampton, as well as former astronaut Leland Melvin, who offered Johnson a Space Flight Awareness Silver Snoopy Award that had been flown on the space shuttle Atlantis.

The building’s dedication today was fitting; it occurred on the 55th anniversary of the first American spaceflight by astronaut Alan Shepard, whose suborbital trajectory Johnson calculated during her time working at Langley…

…At Langley, Johnson performed calculations for airplane safety and rocket-launch experiments, starting in 1953 as part of a pool of female “computers” and continuing until 1986. She worked by hand, and then with mechanical calculators — starting at the African-American-only West Area Computers but moving after two weeks to Langley’s flight research division. Eventually, Johnson worked with electronic computers, whose work she checked before the calculations were used in John Glenn’s groundbreaking orbit around the Earth in February 1962..

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Justine Jane M. Bolin (First Negro woman judge in the U.S.A.)

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-06 01:05Z by Steven

Justine Jane M. Bolin (First Negro woman judge in the U.S.A.)

The Crisis
Volume 49, Number 9 (September 1939)

THE COVER

Miss Jane M. Bolin became on July 22 the first colored woman Judge in the United States when Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia appointed her and swore her in as a justice of the Court of Domestic Relations of the City of New York. The appointment is for ten years and the salary is $12,000 a year.

Miss Bolin, who in private life is the wife of Ralph E. Mizelle, Washington, D.C., attorney, is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale law school. She was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the daughter of Gaius C. Bolin, an attorney who for many years was president of the Poughkeepsie branch of the N.A.A.C.P. Following her graduation from Yale law school, Miss Bolin was admitted to practice in New York in 1932. In 1937 she was named an assistant corporate counsel and assigned to the Court of Domestic Relations. The retirement of another justice who had reached the age limit created an opening which Mayor LaGuardia filled by appointing Miss Bolin.

Tags: , , , , , ,

A Biography Of E. Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922), African-american Singer And Social Activist

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-08-06 00:29Z by Steven

A Biography Of E. Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922), African-american Singer And Social Activist

Edwin Mellen Press
2001
436 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7734-7575-5

Lisa Pertillar Brevard, Core Faculty and Academic Coordinator of Humanities
Walden University

Madame E. Azalia Hackley was an African American classical singer, social worker, writer, philanthropist, and activist who championed the use of African-American spirituals among the African-American people as a tool for social change. Her efforts laid the groundwork for the use of spirituals as freedom songs during the Civil Rights Movement. This work used newspaper accounts and archive studies documenting Madame Hackley’s tours cross-country and abroad to raise funds for African-American classical musicians. It show Hackley’s intense devotion to her African-American roots, as she easily could have passed for white. Nevertheless, she traveled throughout the South in ‘Jim Crow’ railway cars by choice. This work also recovers several of her influential published works, including A Guide to Voice Culture (1909); The Colored Girl Beautiful (1916), an etiquette book for African-American women desiring professional jobs; and “Hints to Young Colored Artists”, a series of articles designed to help young African-American classical musicians succeed. Includes illustrations.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Richard A. Long
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Madame Emma Azalia Smith Hackley: The Lady and Her Legacy
    • 1. Azalia’s Early Years (1867-1894)
    • 2. Denver (1894-1900)
    • 3. Philadelphia and The Washington Conservatory of Music (1900-1915)
    • 4. Jim Crow Cars and Beyond – Paris, London, Tokyo (1916-1920)
    • 5. Madame Hackley’s Last Days (1920-1922)
  • Part II: The Soul and Grit of a Colored Prima Donna: Madame E. Azalia Hackley as Journalist
    • “Hints to Young Colored Artists” (1914-15) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Part III: Lessons Before Dying: Madame Hackley’s The Colored Girl Beautiful
  • Part IV: A Scrapbook of Madame E. Azalia Hackley
    • Photographs
    • “Report on Scholarship for 1908” by E. Azalia Hackley
    • Correspondence Between E. Azalia Hackley and James Weldon Johnson
    • Advertisements
    • The New York Age Salutes Madame Hackley (Obituary by Lucien H. White, 1922)
  • Chronology
  • Appendix: A Guide in Voice Culture (1909) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Sheet Music: “Carola, A Serenade” (1918) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Photograph by Julius Taylor

Tags: , , , , , ,

Glamour Exclusive: President Barack Obama Says, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like”

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2016-08-04 17:40Z by Steven

Glamour Exclusive: President Barack Obama Says, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like”

Glamour
2016-08-04

Barack Obama, President of the United States
Washington, D.C.


The Perk of a “45-Second Commute” The President has spent “a lot more time” watching Sasha and Malia (here, meeting Mac the Turkey in 2014) grow into women.
Official White House Photos by Pete Souza

There are a lot of tough aspects to being President. But there are some perks too. Meeting extraordinary people across the country. Holding an office where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. Air Force One.

But perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store. For many years my life was consumed by long commutes­—from my home in Chicago to Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator, and then to Washington, D.C., as a United States senator. It’s often meant I had to work even harder to be the kind of husband and father I want to be.

But for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to 45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval Office. As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women. That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,