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  • Tomel Waters

Celebrating Women's History Month

As we transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, reflecting on these three women seems to be more than appropriate. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are also known as NASA’s human computers. These brilliant women’s calculations were integral in sending the first American astronaut, John Glenn, safely into space and brought home safely. During the most segregated time in our country, when black women were not allowed to work together with their white counterparts, they were able to make their voices heard through discrimination and obstacles intended to keep them docile and focused on their tasks at hand.


All three women started as teachers and came from humble beginnings. They joined the NACA {National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in the ’30s and ’40s before they became NASA in the late ’50s. Katherine Johnson’s equations were responsible for getting man into orbit. John Glenn Personally felt safe when she ran the numbers for his flights. Dorothy Vaughan, who worked closely with Katherine, became NASA’s first black supervisor. Mary Jackson worked under Dorothy and eventually went on to become NASA’s first black engineer.


We Salute these women not only for their accomplishments as black women but for setting the bar high for women in the fields of engineering, science, and mathematics everywhere. Though they have all passed on their memory and legacy lives on through future generations of strong, independent, and intelligent women.


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