Mary Jackson Helped Make NASA

Mary Jackson in in the front row, far right.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Wednesday the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA. Jackson started her NASA career in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Mary Jackson

All these wonderful changes/recognitions that are happening (and will continue to happen) if we vote for Biden in November… How I wish they had occurred when I was a little girl. The world would have seemed a fairer and safer place. I wouldn’t have had to read so many Holocaust novels as a teen, to try to figure out the difference between awful people and good people. I wouldn’t have read the final pages of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and looked up (I remember exactly where I was) and seen the world from an entirely different perspective. I wouldn’t have moved from Japan in 1968, right after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King and before the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, and felt I had landed in a crazy place.

It’s time for us to be better than we’ve been.
So that a child who moves here doesn’t feel like they’ve landed in a crazy place.
So that an adult who lives here and has accomplished so much is given the recognition she deserves.
So that any discounting of accomplishments due to the color of a person’s skin or gender is not just crazy, but illegal.

Watch the wonderful movie “Hidden Figures” to learn more about Mary Jackson.

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