Wednesday, February 6, 2019

KATHERINE JOHNSON | NASA: Mathematician with Ambition Breaking the BOUND BARRIER ... The "Computers in Skirts" Edition ... (BLACK HISTORY | HARMON LOFT PT.15)- (ABOVE & BELOW PT.21)

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Katherine Johnson with NASA engineer and astronaut, Leland Melvin

**** NASA: Katherine Johnson Biography

This posting will serve as Part 15 of the "Black History | Harmon Loft" series of this journal/ blog for Black History Month, and Part 21 of the "Above & Below" series ... to highlight NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (wikipedia). All credit for this "Black History" series should go to Harmon (aka "Red"), who was a mentor and friend of mine in my youth, this series is totally inspired by him, I owe it to him, and because I'm sure if he were alive in the 21st century of internet communications/ media, he would certainly have a website/ blog on this subject. I myself, find the African American history and experience to be very unique, and I'm a white male of euro descent ... as a kid, when Harmon would tell me all these stories in small chat, it was interesting, being I never heard a thing about this in school. I was with some guys that were Arabic immigrants from Morocco once (Morocco being also in northwest Africa), a couple of them spoke negative about black Americans, and blacks just complaining or whatever, and that they or their history shouldn't be special, because they were immigrants themselves and are not special or whatever.  I explained to them about the history of blacks in America ... unlike these Moroccan guys, blacks were brought here by force, to make money and serve whites as slaves ... sure, many immigrants are exploited, black, white, brown, yellow, for capitalism here ... but none are treated as the black African slaves were, or tortured, killed, branded, and labeled as property. This type of mentality towards blacks in America in recent modern times comparison, is basically the same mentality that Nazis had for Jews. Unlike these guys from Morocco or my ancestors from Europe, my wife's familia from the Philippines, we all brought our culture and languages here, made our families by our choices, etc. Black Africans that were bought, brought and enslaved in America by force back in the 17th/ 18th centuries, and continuing into the 19th century, they were not allowed to get educated, read, advance, choose their families, have any say-so over their children ... their children even being traded as property like a commodity, as well as legally sexually assaulted (raped) ... or no say-so on their values, their religious beliefs, culture, etc ... yet, they built this country and contributed so much to it, without being recognized or given credit for years, while still being persecuted ... they even built our so called sacred White House, fought our wars, raised our children, invented things that we all use and take credit for, etc ... this is "why" their history is special and unique to America.

To Katherine, what she done was no big deal, she simply wanted to do what she loved and was good at ... and just done it, despite obstacles or stereotype thinking. But what was big about this, was getting in a position like this back in the 1950's America, being black and a woman ... she is not only a mathematician and teacher, but an inspiration to kids, and a great American. Opportunity came when NACA (ended 1958, replaced with NASA), was looking for women to join their team, doing the legwork, acting as human computers, or what folks may call "computers in skirts". Imagine going to work, and your office sign is labeled "coloured computers", having to work extra hard for less and having to prove your abilities beyond reason. She co- authored one of the first textbooks on space at Langley, and yes, it was "rocket science", according to NASA. When opportunity knocked, she was on it like a cheap suit on sunday, she was passionate ... when she first applied, there were no positions left, the 2nd time, she nailed it. Instead of breaking the sound barrier, she had to break the bound barrier, freeing her mind and will from the psychological bondage of society. Katherine set aside all the things that mainstream society institutionally programmed into her ... she loved her work, she was tops in math, she loved associating with people who were smart, and questioned everything, and not just for her benefit, but to question others and analytics, whether from a computer or a human ... she thought assertive, and didn't let things stand in her way. So she was able to experience, contribute, and be involved with a major breakthrough for humanity ... taking humans into space and beyond, choreographing their missions, while these astronauts lives were in the hands of folks like Katherine. Today Katherine is considered as one of the pioneers of the space age because of her contributions, of what she done below for our missions above. Since Katherine is still around to tell the story and answer questions too, I chose a one on one interview with her below to highlight ... and Thank You to Katherine Johnson for her contributions to America.

Word Out ....

WURD Exclusive: Interview with Hidden Figures Katherine Johnson ... Thanx to onWURD



***** PD/ RCJ: "ABOVE & BELOW" ... PART'S 20 THRU 1


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

Image result for katherine johnson young



***** RCJ MUSIC/ ART'S HONOUR ROLL SOCIETY (my hand- selected music/ arts picks)

***** "THE RESISTANCE | PERILS OF THE POWER POSSE" ... ( a 2 part futuristic Ranch Chimp Journal dream to dream on )


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