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

February 5, 2017

Who Writes Your Life Story HBCU Students?

Who Writes Your Life Story HBCU Students?
by Professor William Jackson
@wmjackson #MyQuestToTeach

Using the TEDx presentation to
encourage all HBCU students to live up
to their expectations and not to listen
to the stereotypes of others based on
color, gender and social-economic background.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://youtu.be/OscDpHfrtog

Each HBCU student has a story to tell, an adventure
or a situation that allows each of us to share our
travels in a world of continuous change and adaptation.
The human spirit is sometimes defined by the actions and
in actions we take as we make the journey into and through
the challenges, chaos, confusion, storms and welcoming
calmness that we experience during the time we are on this
plane of life.
Students in my Educational Technology class are required
to manage a traditional blog, writing for several weeks
about their talents, passions, goals, likes and challenges.
Just as other classes for the past 4 years that have taken
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM at Edward
Waters College. Those that are in the Department of
Education and Urban Studies are required to take this class,
but more and more students in other disciplines are seeing
the value of writing for their life.
Encouraging students to write can be challenging because
you have to show the reasons why they should do this and
how it can benefit them.
There needs to be tangible and connecting situations and
circumstances to show that writing can increase networking,
create a positive digital footprint and show the potential to
increase visibility in the job market and potential financial
benefits.

use

Attending an HBCU there are benefits and some potential things
that can hold a person back. The term HBCU is not always
beneficial in the white corporate world because it may be
perceived as unskilled, ill-prepared, lower educational
achievement, minority, ghetto, inner-city and slow. These may
be some of the perceptions carried by labels and assumptions.
Labels can deny access to equitable educational access and even
the mental stereotypes that can affect performance in the classroom.
I share with my students to never let someone else’s expectations
define their life and their successes.
As a father of two college age young adults I have seen how low
expectations of teachers, friends and even the community affect
the self perceptions of children. When my children were in
elementary and middle I constantly encouraged them to read, to
think for themselves and not like the crowd, I took my kids to
conferences, workshops and other events that offered
exposure and learning. Why more Black families do not do this
there are many excuses.
Understanding diversity was important because my children had
to understand that this world, this nation is diverse and they
had to be able to cope with the integration and collaboration
of races. To many times people said I was raising my children like
they were white, but in actuality I was raising them to live in a
white world where mental toughness was necessary, having dreams,
goals and a mission in life made living valuable and being Black was
an asset not collateral damage.
Parents must always build up their children even if there are
challenges to their mental abilities, children can overcome and
compensate for many challenges if the parents do not have lower
expectations for success. Speak and breath life and a love for
learning. This is where to many African American families fall
short, living under the expectations of others that see them
as second class citizens, as potential criminals, welfare
recipients and even kids being in ESE and EBD classes not
Gifted and Talented classes.
The parent is the first educator and creates a foundation for
growth and development for a life-time. Parents create the
mental foundation for how their child will stand and deliver
energies that motivate and expand success or accept the mode of
below average living and relying on governmental
assistance.

HBCUs have a history of overcoming challenges and even
atrocities that are thrown at them because of the strong will
for success and rising like the Phoenix. If the parent assumes
their child cannot read past a certain level and mental comprehension
they deny their child the gifts of literature, reading, exposure
and even interactions that can open mental doors to expand the
horizons to be better then they currently are.
In my class I use TEDx Talks to show the similarities of cultural
and generational experiences to help students to understand
they do not have to live by others expectations and stereotypes.
They have options to experience and manage their life to be what
they want it to be by embracing learning and exposure to
new things in life.
Using a platform of blogging to step out away from the limitations
of people placed because they only only see color, zip codes or
area codes, student writing can take them globally any where in the
world because they can adapt their writing to embrace not just
the diversity of people, but the diversity of thought,
rationalization and the emotional connections that bring about
unity and respect.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://youtu.be/OscDpHfrtog
Is a way for students at HBCUs to share in a story of
mental and emotional neglect and abuse. Even through
the hell of low expectations HBCU students can rise
to new heights and accomplish unbelieveable success.
HBCU students start to write your own story, never
allow anyone else to write your story, to cast you
into a category and try to keep you there.
It is a choice, a decision that you make.
Choose wisely what direction you will go, by your
decisions or by the decisions of others that only see
you based on ignorance, racism, prejudice and hate.
Listening to “Who writes your life story?” |
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly is a way to break free
of the pain and limitations of others.

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Resources:
Who Writes Your Life Story?
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OscDpHfrtog&t=424s

Real Talk Real Change by E3 Business Group
RTRC VIII: “We Are Women, Hear Us More!!”
https://eventium.io/events/1036938196421735/real-talk-real-change-viii

January 27, 2017

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In The Future

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In  The Future
by William Jackson

taylor-and-mom

Congratulations to Latanya Richardson and her daughter
Taylor Richardson for the success of showing Hidden
Figures in Jacksonville, Florida to over 200 girls.
The awesome story of how African American women
helped NASA to put astronauts into space and bring
them back to earth.
Girls and women from around Jacksonville, Florida
attended representing groups and schools from
around the city. As a teacher I had the honor to bring
several students from Venetia Elementary School a
Medical Magnet STEM that teaches grade K to 5th 
and
a Lee High School student. My only regret is
that I could not bring more.

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The emotional and psychological inspiration of
this movie demands to ask what is next to keep
the seriousness and the historical value of this
movie moving forward. STEM and STEAM that
are being applied in the educational cultures of
schools is seen as not only career necessary, but
has scientific, business and commerce influences
in this country and on a global scale.
The movie brilliantly showed not just the struggles
of women in the NASA Space Program, but showed
the value and application of their education.
The reason why educational degrees are important,
the value of visiting the library to learn new things
and applying them to real world situations, and the
personal responsibility to prepare for the future.

book-hf

There were many scenes where the women were called
“computers” as their analytical abilities where recognized,
but only later were they respected after showing and
demanding equality through leadership opportunities and
promotions that were withheld only because of their color.
Working with many types of math and integrating
mathematical equations that sometimes had to be created.
This shows that girls and women have the skill sets and
analytical abilities to function in complex and STEAM
areas that demand creativity and innovation.

Hidden Figures addressed several civil rights issues in the
areas of political and educational equality that in some cases
are still being addressed for Black
s, Hispanics and others of
color,
the struggle still continues and there
have been many successes.

group-picture

Girls and women will take away many lessons from the
movie and see how history was changed not just by
protests, by going to school to earn advanced degrees,
learning the laws of the nation, how to speak properly
without using profanity, the importance of family unity
and support and setting goals that everyone works towards.

Another important key is to carry or act like there is
self-pride, cultural respect and intelligence.
 A key lesson
shared is that children  
learned early that education is
the ticket to a better life even when there are
struggles
and
challenges to be overcome.

Even seeing the implementation of “new” technologies
at the time when early computers where not as easy to
use, but there was continued learning in programming
languages that demanded studying and forward thinking.
The movement to gaining educational parity and equality
is a great value for boys and girls of color, this movie is
worth seeing again and applied to the learning initiatives
in all schools to allow students to see the why they
need to be serious about their education and the vision
for their dreams of success.

ibm

Seeing the new IBM computers being used, but it
took a woman to learn the programming language to
make it work sends a message that women are as smart
and intelligent as men, even if those men are Black
or white.
There are no barriers than can stop girls and women
from gaining l
eadership skill-sets and applying the
intelligence to make positive and historical changes.
Parents, mothers, fathers, and grandparents if you
have not seen Hidden Figures take your children and
other children if possible to see this movie that not
only shows the historical application of education
and cultural  pride and respect, that gender is not
a liability
, color is not a curse, there is a blending of
historical successes and  global influence.

movie-relaxing

Hidden Figures opens the mind’s eye that anything is
possible, t
hat dreams can be achieved, and intelligence
is Dope and Lit.
What is next is up to parents, schools, churches and
communities to support children, youth and teens.
Time will tell, graduations rates from high school
and college will tell and the growing number of girls
and boys of co
lor in  STEM careers will tell.

 

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