In 1936, Brown became the first woman to obtain a private pilot’s license in the U.S. She was part of the National Airmen’s Association of America in 1939 whose sole purpose was to integrate army so that Black pilots could get the chance to fly. In her military career, Brown was an advocate for all Black pilots male or female. Brown became the head of the Civilian Pilot Training Program in Chicago where Black pilots were selected for the Tuskegee training program. She went on to become a coordinator for the Civil Aeronautics Authority and a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Women’s Advisory Board.
Janet Bragg (March 24, 1907 — April 11, 1993)
Bragg was the first woman admitted to Curtiss-Wright School of Aeronautics in Chicago in 1928 and to hold a commercial pilot’s license. Bragg was rejected from four different organizations based on race. This rejection may have lead to her second career path as a registered nurse. After graduating from Spelman College, Bragg went to Illinois and continued practicing as a nurse until becoming an insurance health inspector in 1941.
Dorothy Layne McIntyre (b. Jan. 27, 1917)
At 22 years-old, Layne McIntyre became the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). She ended up going into aircraft mechanics at the Baltimore War Production school.
Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, talked candidly with PwC US Chairman Bob Moritz about her powerful TED Talk “Color blind or color brave?” and specifically on being unapologetically black.
During her Inspirefest 2015 keynote, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant cites the statistics that prompted her to take action and create an organisation dedicated to teaching young black women computer coding skills, so that they could create — not just consume — technology.
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has launched the application process for the inaugural year of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, the largest and most comprehensive scholarship effort in HBCU history. Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer. The scholarship program is open to students in their final year of study from all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI).
“There are “scholarships” and then there are “scholarship programs,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”
The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is the first of several programs under the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative. In March, Apple and TMCF announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of HBCU’s. The over $40 million multiyear commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs. The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.
“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCU’s to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”
The Scholars Program will provide students with a diverse and valuable set of learning and personal growth opportunities that include: a scholarship up to $25,000 for their senior year of studies; a summer internship at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round development program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple employee mentor during students’ senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their HBCU campuses to build awareness for the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; the opportunity to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, DC in November 2015; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion experience in Cupertino, California during the spring of 2016.
The application process is open now and will close on September 18, 2015. For information on the TMCF Apple Diversity Initiative, visit tmcf.org and follow @TMCF_HBCU on Twitter.
Celebrating the Life of Physicist Herman Russell Branson
(Aug. 14, 1914 – June 07, 1995)
Branson was a physicist and chemist who was responsible for discovering the alpha-helix protein structure in biological systems. He was educated at Virginia State College in 1936 where he earned a bachelor’s in physics. After graduating, Branson went on to the University of Cincinnati to obtain his Ph.D. in physics. He studied under the direction of Boris Padowski in 1939 who was a confidant of Albert Einstein. Branson and Padowski wrote the research paper On the Quantization of Mass in 1940.
Scientist Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer at SENS Research Foundation, believes that people can cheat death and live forever.
De Grey is a University of Cambridge-educated biomedical gerontologist who has researched and written three books about aging: “The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging” (1999), “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence: Why Genuine Control of Aging May Be Foreseeable” (2004) and “Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime” (with Michael Rae) (2008).
His work has gained the attention of the larger scientific community because it is extremely controversial. He wants to use stem cells to repair old and dying cells like one repairs a car or leaky faucet. He believes that if dying cells are repaired with stem cells people can live longer. The whole idea is simple really. People in the modern world have cured most infectious diseases and the real cause of death is simply living. The cells will eventually wear down and then people will die.
Another aspect of his work revolves around moving away from the need of pharmaceuticals.
According to de Grey, “we will not cure cancer this way. We will not cure Alzheimer’s this way. The incentive structure for modern pharmaceuticals perpetuates this because it can be done reasonably quickly, sold for a lot of money and because people are desperate for anything.”
Controversy aside, de Grey wants people to live longer without dependence on medication and corporate exploitation. To some that is a great thing, but to others, he is playing God.
“We are talking about a world in which quality will confer quantity, in which you will live longer because you are living better. That’s the critical thing here,” says de Grey.
Cinemax’s The Knick shows the bloody and brutal history of 19th and early 20th century medicine in this country in graphic fashion. Algernon Edwards, portrayed by Andre Holland, is the first Black doctor at the New York knickerbocker hospital during a time of extreme lynching and post-reconstruction racism. He faces segregation, bureaucracy and an inhumane level of social immobility but he continues to push through.
Now imagine if it was a Black woman making a name for herself in the 1800s as a medical doctor. You’d be accurate if you were imagining Rebecca Lee Crumpler— the first Black physician in America and the first Black woman to earn a medical degree.
Her Early Life
There is very little information about Crumpler (1831-1895). Documents and photos of her life have been lost to time except for a journal she kept.
Crumpler wanted to enter the medical field but had few opportunities. In the 19th century, being a nurse required little education and was a stepping stone for Black people. Before becoming a doctor, she worked as a nurse, starting in 1852. In order to find work, Crumpler moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked for the next eight years.
The African American experience in this country is a winding road with peaks and valleys. Sometimes our schools fail to explore all the nuances and just give basic facts without real substance. To remedy this, there are a plethora of books written by Black writers that dig deep and go further than any classroom history lesson could.
As police brutality and the #Blacklivesmatter movement engulfs the public consciousness, teens and young adults are awake to the world, cultural appropriation, and other areas of Black history. Here are six books to check out.
The synopsis from Amazon states: “The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that African-Americans of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes African-Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to “do for themselves,” regardless of what they were taught.”
As more new discoveries about Pluto come from the New Horizons spacecraft flyby, China has announced a mission closer to earth. The nation plans to begin exploring the far side of the moon starting in 2018 at the earliest.
“The country submitted their preliminary report to the United Nations Office for Outerspace Affairs indicating that it has plans of launching an unmanned mission to the moon with the spacecraft Chang’E-4 by 2018 or 2019. The probe will lay the groundwork for what would be China’s lunar base,” reports Rachel Cruz for Headlines and Global News.
Back in 2013, China successful pulled off its first moon landing. The nation’s moon lander, Chang 3 and rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) were able to explore and take photos of the moon, making China the third country in history to land on the earth’s natural satellite.
CNSA (China’s equivalent to NASA) will go back in three to four years to explore using a new lander called Chang 4, then the country intends to establish a base as an observational outpost to observe the solar system. China is also optimistic that the base could serve as a station for manned missions further in the solar system.
According to International Business Times writer Darwin Malicdem, “China stated that the project is open for cooperating with other nations exploring the space, particularly with ESA for future lunar missions, as the latter has proposed building a ‘lunar village’ recently.”