To my mind, shining a light on diversity in any field is important–not just because minority viewpoints matter, but because honest and truthful representation is important. What actually happened, and who was actually there, isn’t always what we choose to remember. To that end, I’d like to introduce some people to Annie Easley. I’m sad to say that I only learned about her a few years ago, but Ms. Easley was a pioneering rocket scientist–her research made space travel and hybrid vehicles possible. And she has a great story.
Also, I’m thrilled that Engadget, one of my favorite technology blogs, is spreading the word. A number of different people–especially women and people of color–have contributed a lot to various fields and artistic movements. But sadly, you don’t always hear a lot about them. And while that silence might not be intentional, it is a political decision (what you choose to know and not know, what you teach and don’t teach–it’s always political). And, not to preach for too long, those decisions can lead to dangerous and lasting misconceptions.
I’m also sad to say that in my crowded life, it’s easy to shove some things in corners–I ran across this by accident, and Engadget mainly ran the article because it’s Black History Month. But I’m hoping that I can reorient my thoughts–year-round–to more important issues such as these. I mean, I know about Henrietta Lacks and Sophia Stewart, but my goal is to expand my knowledge beyond a few key figures. I’ll be reporting my progress here, and please feel free to keep me on task.