Black History Month: Katherine Johnson

Mathematician Extraordinaire Katherine Johnson suddenly passed away at the age of 101 today. With it being Black History Month, it’s only right to recognize her accomplishments.

In 1953, Katherine began working at NASA, starting off doing computing work in the research lab then moved up the career ladder. In 1961, she helped with analysis work on Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 Spaceflight.  For the 1962 Friendship 7 flight, which was the first to orbit earth, Katherine ran calculations by hand in order for the flight to be a success, and it was!

Image result for katherine johnson 1961
artsttechnica.com

One of Ms. Katherine’s biggest accomplishments was helping with the Apollo 11 spacecraft, in which men landed on the moon in 1969. Her work with NASA was told in the 2017 movie Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson as Ms. Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson.

Image result for hidden figures 2017
newberryobserver.com

In 1986, Katherine retired from NASA and in 2015, President Obama honored her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to NASA. 

wikipedia.com

Ms. Katherine Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughan and  Mary Jackson broke racial and gender barriers during their time at NASA. Katherine Johnson will be remembered as a genius, role model and one of the many faces of black excellence.

RIP to her and may her memory live on. 

 

 

sources:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/katherine-johnson-nasa-mathematician-depicted-hidden-figures-dead-101-n1141566
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/24/517784975/katherine-johnson-nasa-mathematician-and-an-inspiration-for-hidden-figures-dies

Fact 15: First Black Prez: Barack Obama

In honor of president’s day, I’m dedicating Fact 15 to Barack Obama, the first black president. He’s been shunned on for him being a black president, only because there are a lot of racist individuals in the U.S. that don’t like black people. He’s dealt with death threats and all and still he remains confidence and while serving 2 terms.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother was born in Kansas and his father in Kenya. He graduated from Columbia College in New York City, obtaining a Political Science Degree. Two years after that, he moved to Chicago, getting a job as a community organizer for low-income communities. Three years later, he enrolled in Harvard Law School. While attending law school, he met Michelle, who was his adviser when he first started. He graduated in 1991 and moved back to Chicago working part time at University of Chicago Law School and working full time as a Civil Rights Lawyer. Him and Michelle got married in 1992 and had Malia in 1998 and Sasha in 2001. He ran for Illinois State Senate in 1996 and he won. In 2004 he ran for the United States Senate as a Democrat and he won with 52% of the vote; coincidentally he won by 52% of the vote when he won the Presidential Election in 2008 becoming THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

photo credit: blackenterprise.com

 

photo credit: nymag.com

Some of his accomplishments, while serving as the president have been:

  • Creating Affordable Care Act
  • Lowering gas prices
  • Being in charge of capturing Osama Bin Laden
  • Ended the war in Iraq
  • Expanded Hate Crime Protection

Of course he had many more accomplishments but that was just a few. He is a cool Prez. and an even better person in general. He is in touch with the new generation, for example:

  • he took a selfie with the U.S National Soccer team.
  • he joked around when he was giving a speech and had Keegan Key as his angry translator, whom he played in his show Key & Peele.
  • Obama also appeared on late night comedy television shows. That shows his sense of humor.
  • He visited some of the people of New Orleans, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.
  • He went to a Bulls vs. Cavaliers game, just like a normal person.

 

photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

 

NOW here is why he is so coooool is the fact that he called Kanye West an asshole, now some presidents wouldn’t entertainment the celebrity business but he spoke on how he felt. Also he sang a small piece of “Amazing Grace” at a graduation ceremony, sounding soulful, as well as singing a small part of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and singing it just as soulful as Al Green. I get that “Uncle feeling” from him, like he’s part of the family.

It’s going to be a sad day to see him and his family leave the White House but it has been a pleasure to have them as thee First Black Family of the White House.

 

 

photo credit: cnn.com

 

 

Sources: washingtonmonthly.com; buzzfeed.com