I saw the movie and now am reading the book. It’s engagingly written but I’m finding a low-grade ache present as I open the cover to read. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/forgotten-black-women-mathematicians-who-helped-win-wars-and-send-astronauts-space-180960393/ Each day it reminds me how severely we hinder ourselves by standing staunch in our ungrounded limitations. So much access to talent, ingenuity, grace, creativity, wisdom and insight we waste when we stay caged by our own dense, malinformed discrimination practices and prejudices.
Why did I not learn of these women mathematicians working at the very core of our national industrial progress in grammar school? And why do we call them ‘women’ mathematicians? And why do we have to identify them as ‘African American Women’ mathematicians? Physical identifiers are helpful (not necessary, hence the ability of people who are blind to function successfully) of course, but there is ample scientific proof that outer physical attributes have nothing to do with our mental and moral capabilities.
Why is it not common knowledge that Katherine Johnson, the master mathematician got John Glenn to the moon?
I must pull myself back from the abyss of all we’ve lost and continue to lose from ourselves and others through our own personal and national limitations. I strive to focus on mastering all the whirling and swirling that goes on in my mind in order to see to the best of my ability what is true and real. That’s a full time job.
Our hidden figures are beneath our outer layers. May we each and all commune there one day.