Tag: Andrew Jackson

Jackson Elementary School in Utah, Named for Andrew Jackson, Votes to Rename Itself After Mary Jackson, NASA’s 1st Black Female Engineer

Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer
Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer(Photo: NASA Langley Research Center)

by Marina Koren via theatlantic.com

An elementary school in Utah has traded one Jackson for another in a change that many say was a long time coming.

Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City will no longer be named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, whose slave ownership and treatment of Native Americans are often cited in the debate over memorializing historical figures associated with racism.

Instead, the school will honor Mary Jackson, the first black female engineer at nasa whose story, and the stories of others like her at the space agency, was chronicled in Hidden Figures, a 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.

A unanimous vote by the the Salt Lake City school board this week was met with a standing ovation from the crowd in the room, reports The Salt Lake Tribune’s Erin Alberty. School employees and parents have discussed changing the elementary’s school name “for years,” Alberty reported, and last year started polling and meeting with parents, alumni, and others. More than 70 percent supported the change. Of the school’s 440 students, 85 percent are students of color, according to the Salt Lake City School District.

Mary Jackson, a native of Hampton, Virginia, worked as a math teacher, a receptionist, and an Army secretary before she arrived at NASA’s Langley Research Center in 1951 as a member of the West Area Computing unit, a segregated division where African American women spent hours doing calculations with pencil and paper, including for the trajectories of the country’s earliest space missions.

Two years in, a NASA engineer picked Jackson to help him work on a wind tunnel that tested flight hardware by blasting it with winds nearly twice the speed of sound. The engineer suggested Jackson train to become an engineer. To do that, Jackson had to take night courses in math and physics from the University of Virginia, which were held at the segregated Hampton High School. Jackson successfully petitioned the city to let her take the classes. She got her promotion to engineer in 1958. After 34 years at the space agency, Jackson retired in 1985. She died in 2005, at the age of 83.

Continue reading “Jackson Elementary School in Utah, Named for Andrew Jackson, Votes to Rename Itself After Mary Jackson, NASA’s 1st Black Female Engineer”

Yale University Removes Portraits of former U.S. Vice President John Calhoun, a Proponent of Slavery

yale-university_416x416John C. Calhoun graduated from Yale University in 1804. He went on to become vice president of the United States, serving under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. A native of South Carolina, Calhoun was a major defender of the institution of slavery.

A residential college at Yale was named in Calhoun’s honor in 1932. Since that time a portrait of Calhoun has hung over the fireplace in the dining room of the residential college. Two other portraits of Calhoun were placed in the living quarters of the master of the college.

Now all three portraits have been taken down and the university is considering whether the name of Calhoun College should be maintained. The decision to remove the portraits was made by Julia Adams, master of Calhoun College and a professor of sociology at Yale. Adams also stated that a ceremonial mace that was once owned by Calhoun will no longer be used during ceremonial occasions at the college.

article via jbhe.com

“Women on 20s” Organization Pushing U.S. Treasury to Replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20

A group that wants to kick Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace him with a woman has, after months of collecting votes, chosen a successor: Harriet Tubman.

Tubman, an abolitionist who is remembered most for her role as a conductor in the “Underground Railroad,” was one of four finalists for the nod from a group of campaigners calling themselves “Women on 20s.” The campaign started earlier this year and has since inspired bills in the House and the Senate.

The other three finalists were former first lady and human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt; civil rights figure Rosa Parks; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. Now that voters participating in the campaign have chosen Tubman, Women on 20s will bring a petition with the people’s choice to the White House.

“Our paper bills are like pocket monuments to great figures in our history,” Women on 20s Executive Director Susan Ades Stone said in an e-mailed statement. “Our work won’t be done until we’re holding a Harriet $20 bill in our hands in time for the centennial of women’s suffrage in 2020.”

In all, the group said, it has collected more than 600,000 votes for its campaign.  In Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Tubman was a “wonderful choice” for the bill, but stopped short of saying whether the President backs putting Tubman on the $20.

If the government agrees that it’s time to replace Andrew Jackson on the bill, its choice might not end up being Tubman. But the idea of putting a woman on America’s paper currency has attracted some notable support.

“Last week, a young girl wrote to me to ask why aren’t there any women on our currency,” President Obama said in a July speech in Kansas City, before the launch of the Women on 20s voting campaign. “And then she gave me a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff — which I thought was a pretty good idea.” Continue reading ““Women on 20s” Organization Pushing U.S. Treasury to Replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20″

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