My Quest To Teach

February 6, 2017

My Hidden Figures Reflection

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Taylor and students from Venetia Elementary and Lee High School

My Hidden Figures Reflection
By: Breyonna Fox,
Blogging Intern with My Quest To Teach
Jacksonville, Florida
My first thought when I finished watching Hidden
Figures was, “Wow, they actually did all of those
things, like they accomplished their goals.” I thought
this was very inspirational, because back then it was
very hard for other races besides Caucasians, to do
the things they wanted and love. In the movie there
is a part when Mary Jackson’s husband even doubts
her accomplishing her dreams, showing how
un-motivated people were and how many dreams
were simply crushed and forgotten.

Then there was Dorothy Vaughn who wanted to be
a supervisor for her group of women who are highly
skilled with computers. She wanted to move on with
her dreams when she realized Katherine and Mary
was moving up with theirs. NASA wouldn’t make
her a supervisor though, she worked hard and even
acted like a supervisor to her group of woman. Then
one day she got a huge offer, but she would only do
it if her girls were with her as well. So they allowed it.
She finally became a supervisor. She is the first
African American woman to supervise a staff
at the West Area Computers Division. Another part
in the movie shows when she took her sons to the
library to get some books to help her out with work,
they ended up getting kicked out, just because
Dorothy needed the book, but the library was whites’
only.

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It was upsetting to see how she couldn’t check
out the book and then the security guard pushed
her sons out as well. Then when she got on the
bus she still had the book on her and when her
sons asked why and she said she pays taxes
and those taxes help the library out. I know
Dorothy is a very witty and strong person. She
stayed determined in what she believed in and
knew she could accomplish her goals, she didn’t
leave her girls and moved them up with her.

Mary Jackson, wanted to become an engineer,
in the beginning she had doubts about it. She
was talking about it with her co-worker and she
said how impossible it felt, her co-workers told
her she could do it, because they were already
doing the impossible. I thought about what she
said and how she had hope that Mary could
accomplish her goals. It showed me even when
things feel impossible, they aren’t. She even
went to court to fight for what she wanted and
got night classes at University, an all-white
school! That was amazing. I really loved that part,
because that filled so much hope in Mary and
made her believe more in herself that she could
accomplish a lot more things after that, Mary
Jackson became the first female African
American NASA engineer. Mary is a sassy, brave
and determined for what she fights for.
Last, but not least was Katherine Goble,
she was strongly skilled in mathematics and
had an analytical mind. She got a new assignment
by Al Harrison, so she had to move to a new
part of the company.

When she was getting escorted, the woman told her,
“you will be the first black person here. Don’t make
me regret choosing you. Most people only last a few
days, so don’t get used to it.” Then when Katherine
entered everyone stared at her. Her co-workers were
rude towards her as well. She went to grab some
coffee and everyone was staring at her. She
immediately felt uncomfortable and sat down and
sipped her coffee slowly. After that incident they
got a second coffee maker and it said “colored”,
she went to use it, it was empty, sending a message.

This showed me how even though Katherine
accomplished her goals, there will always be people
trying to bring her down. Then she got upset and
explained to Harrison how rude everyone was acting
towards her and how she never got pearls and how
no one wants to use the same coffee maker as her,
since earlier she was always in the bathroom and he
would ask where she went. Then the next day he
tore down the “whites only” bathroom and the
“colored” signs and he said, “no whites or colored,
we’re all the same here.” That showed me how
Al Harrison really cared about Katherine as an
employee and he didn’t care about skin color.

Then when Katherine got engaged, her co-workers
got her a pearl necklace, which was Harrison’s ideas
too, which she wore to her wedding. Then later on in
the movie, when John Glenn was going to orbit
around earth, he said he only trusted Katherine with
her calculations and with his safety, he knew she
was brilliant and he only trusted her not the computer
machine. He was right too, he had trouble up in space,
but he got back safe.

Katherine played a huge roll in John Glenn’s journey
and Apollo space program landing a man on the moon.
In 2015, Katherine received National Medal of Freedom
from President Obama.

breyonna-fox
Breyonna Fox, blogger

This movie showed me that anything you set your mind
to you can accomplish. You just have to stay determined
and full of courage. This movie is very inspiring and
does prove to other women and girls they can do things
even when they feel it’s out of their reach.
Edited by Prof. William Jackson  #MyQuestToTeach

Resources dedicated to women
TEDxFSCJ Salon: Lift as We Climb:
Women Race and Politics
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
FSCJ – Downton Campus
Auditorium A-1068
http://www.tedxfscj.com/events/

Real Talk Real Change
We Are Women Hear Us More..
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Riverside North – 2711 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida
rtrc20viii20-20fb20cover20-20320sponsors_0

September 14, 2016

Part 1 Building African Bloggers To Share African Voices

Part 1 Building African Bloggers To Share African Voices
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Educator, Blogger
Edward Waters College
Twitter @wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach

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Blogging ideas from a national and international
Blogger, Speaker, Content Creator, Thought Leader.
There are millions of potential brother and sister
bloggers in Africa, diverse people of color and
culture, yearning to tell their stories, develop
and share their Brands and expand their
opportunities to collaborate.

This writing is a contribution of knowledge to
share and hopefully motivate and inspire
Africans desiring to Blog, Microblog, Vblog,
Podcast and create dynamic content within
their communities. Their (African) voices and
stories are important and should be shared on
a global platform of respect and collaboration.

What better way than to blog and share with
the world, to create unique content that is
just as diverse as the most diverse continent
in the world, Africa. I encourage Africans of
all ages to write their stories, to use their
creativity to share innovative ideas and
create content that bridges generations
and cultures. The ability to create unique
and transformative content that can connect
and unify others of color and culture.
Following the examples of Chinua Achebe,
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri,
Buchi Emecheta, Ama Ata Aidoo,
Dinaw Mengestu, Africans are historic
creators of storytelling, poets, and diverse
content creators. African children are learning
that through education they can contribute
to the world in ways not available decades ago.

scrample

Colonialism attempted to
silence the voices of Africans, they failed
because the voices of Africans can be
heard whispered on the water and air
currents that travel the rivers, streams,
and creeks across the continent.

Social Media platforms and tools are
allowing African boys and girls to
share their stories with the global
community, bringing attention to their
lives right from their mouths and to the
ears of billions globally.

As an educator and parent I want to encourage
African children, teens, youth and young adults
to share their stories through the diverse tools
that blogging has to offer and encourage
African parents to encourage their children.
Do not allow others to tell your stories as they
did during the decades of slavery and colonization.
In the spirit of Chinua Achebe share your
stories and let the world hear you.

Part 2 25 Suggestions for African Bloggers

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Resources:
Nigerian Bloggers Directory –
http://www.bloggers.ng/
African Blogging Awards –
http://www.africanbloggerawards.com/2016-winners/
African Fashion Bloggers –
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chayet-chienin/bloggers-african-fashion_b_6613940.html
10 Best Viewed Blogs of 21014
http://buzzsouthafrica.com/blogs-south-africa/
25 of the Best Blogs in Africa
http://memeburn.com/2014/05/25-of-the-best-bloggers-operating-in-africa-today/

June 6, 2016

How Do You Change African American Communities Part I

Corrections to this blog!!!
Thanks to @oJaison for seeing my typos and wrong information about
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is Kenyan, not Nigerian.

How Do You Change African American 
Communities Part I

Lessons learned from Nigerians:
Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and
Ngugi wa Thiong’o
African writers, poets, play writes and
community activists.

The question of “how do you change African
American communities has been asked for years.
The diverse answers range from more federal
monies, to increased investment, to changing
the legislative bodies of the elected officials,
to building cultural diversity and the list
continues. One of the lessons is to learn
from how valuable and important education is
to a community. The recognition of academic
stars along with athletic accomplishments.

The visibility of who the academic successes
are and their entrance into higher education,
starting military careers, gaining local
and national recognition for hard work,
realistic expectations for continuing
education and the global perspective that
education can take a student places and
expose them to people and experiences that
athletics will not.

Lessons can be learned from the Watson Institute
of Brown’s University with Nigerian Wole Soyinka
and Chinua Achebe – poets, writers, political
and community activists show a dynamic
connection between using literature and reading
to create transformative changes in communities.

People of color and culture have a vision for
change that can be applied to many
African American communities across the nation
as is being done in Africa.
Listening to writing giants on YouTube
that have influenced not just thousands, but
millions of Nigerians and across the continent
of Africa to global penetration. Wole Soyinka
and Chinua Achebe share their passions to
improving their culture and national strength
in all areas of national importance. Their
outlooks on life are shared by their parents
involvement in their community at a young age,
their political involvement and strong religious
beliefs.

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Each man has been culturally and academically
groomed and prepared for the dynamic roles they
play and the influences they have from their
participation in writing, poetry and as play writes.
African American families can take these examples
to improve the future of their communities.

Listening to the many interviews of Solinka,
Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenyan),
the passion for their country can be heard.
The desire to serve their communities
and to help improve their nation ahead
of their needs. Each made the
decision to take a stand for their people
similar to African Americans like Malcolm X,
James Baldwin, Carter G. Woodson and others.

2

Prof. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Soyinka, Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o
were hunted by government forces and
threatened with death for
their dedication to a better nation from
colonization by British rule to the fight for
democracy or changes to corrupt African governments.
Listening to the interviews I learned that
African Americans cannot sit back and cry, cus,
complain, and make noise then not be ready
to put their hands in the muck to help make
changes in their communities first. The fight
for improved communities, better education,
employment and increased political influence
start from home, the home communities where
change is needed, the home
communities where schools need volunteers,
mentoring, after school tutoring and a voice
at city council and school board meetings.

African Americans have to know what their passions
and priorities are, they have to have something
they feel needs fixing to benefit their communities
not just for personal gains. Soyinka and Achebe
used their talents to help their communities and
nation through education, to make transformative
changes using literature, writing, plays and
other venues to encourage thinking and unity.

Everyone wants to change the world, how about
starting with your own communities.
“Be the change you want to see..”
Get out and vote, get out in your
communities and get involved.
Volunteer in your community schools…..
Show Up, Show Out and come ready to work!!!

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