To be young, gifted, and Black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream.
To be young, gifted, and Black,
Open your heart to what I mean.
Hey everybody! I hope you are well during these winter months! I don't know where you live, but here in Missouri we've had some frigid weather that included snow & ice. The winter has been so challenging that we've had school cancellations and early dismissal days; in fact there have been a couple of times that Sunday morning worship service had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. Needless to say, it's time that we bid winter a fond farewell as we look forward to the splendor of spring!
As I reflect this week, I would be remiss and do my ancestors a disservice if I let the month of February end and not mention the celebration of Black History. While one month (the shortest month of the year) cannot possibly highlight all the contributions that Black people have made around the world, I want to shine the spotlight on a few Brilliant Black Math Minds that serve as inspiration to me...
Katherine Johnson, Ph.D. (1918-) Dr. Johnson is one of the brilliant minds portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the movie Hidden Figures. More notably, Dr. Johnson is known for calculating the trajectories for NASA missions. This brilliant mind also happens to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated founded on the campus of Howard University in 1908 (okay, so I'm a little bias...LOL!!!)
David Blackwell, Ph.D. (1919-2010) Dr. Blackwell was the first Black person tenured at UC Berkeley. Dr. Blackwell also made significant contributions to probability theory, mathematical statistics, information theory, and mathematical logic. He loved problem solving and was once quoted saying "I love the value of teaching math because in transmitting it, you appreciate its beauty all over again".
Rudy L. Horne, Ph.D. (1968-2017) Dr. Horne was an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Morehouse College before his untimely death in 2017. Dr. Horne received credit as the mathematical consultant for the film Hidden Figures. It was his job to verify that the mathematical equations used in the film were accurate.
Erica N. Walker, Ph.D. (1999-) Dr. Walker is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Walker is a former public high school teacher. Her contributions to mathematics focuses on the social and cultural factors as well as educational policies and practices that facilitate math. Her work in math promotes student engagement, learning, and performance. She is especially committed to developing a love for math in underserved students.
These are just a few of the brilliant math minds that truly make my heart happy! Under the Intentional Toolkit I have included some additional resources that shine the spotlight on the brilliance of Black Educators in the field of Mathematics. I hope you find these resources helpful. Here's to an excellent week ahead! Until next time...go out there and be GREAT!
Rethinking Mathematics: Reform in School Mathematics
What I-Team supporters are saying...
"Dr. Brown does an excellent job inspiring others and breaking it down so the readers can comprehend...Good job!" --J. Jefferson