They call these women extraordinary. For many years, these women were hidden in the shadows of NASA's glorious history. They were mathematical geniuses who made cosmic contributions to this nation and space travel.
Since the movie, "Hidden Figures" made its debut all over the world, articles have been written by white authors, calling their achievements extraordinary, touting their mathematical prowess, and setting them apart as though they were an enigmatic blip on the black line of history in this country.
I would like to differ slightly in that interpretation of their achievements and the description of these women.
Let me explain.
These women can certainly count as some of the best and smartest mathematical minds and I am not diminishing their enormous contributions to space exploration, math and science, however, everything that I write must circle back to the system of white supremacy and racism. Because of this, these women can only be considered extraordinary in a skewed world of inequality and inequity, injustice and denial of opportunity, where white supremacy flourishes.
In referring to these women as extraordinary, white supremacy says that they were somehow divergent from the normal, dumb, negro. White supremacists, using their tool, the system of racism, would want you to believe these wonderful women were and are the exception and not the rule.
Those in power within this system have taken great pains throughout the decades to ensure that not only the contributions of these women, but the contributions of black American people for generations in this country will remain "hidden figures."
One of the main reasons for the continued push for inadequate education and the perpetuation of stereotypes in black American communities is to drive in perpetuity the narrative of black American inferiority in all areas of human activity.
It is already understood that the system has had difficulty, in terms of the ability to keep black Americans out in the areas of entertainment and sports to a large degree, over the years. However, it has been very successful in the area of education, especially within the last 50 years, through its control over poverty and denial in the black community starting with black American children, making it extremely difficult for them to succeed.
But in spite of those efforts and sometimes because of them, black people continue to press on, persevere and succeed. Many more are managing to get through and are being seen and acknowledged thanks to social and independent media. In addition, efforts by people who are in a financial position to bring these stories to the attention of the masses make these stories widely available so that even attempts over the years to hide the contributions of these women have ultimately failed.
Let me tell you now what is extraordinary about these women in my view:
What is really extraordinary about these women was that they were courageous enough to SHOW and USE what they knew, despite the ridicule, mistreatment and institutional racism that plagued them. They were able to succeed. They were able to contribute to the history of this nation, while enduring the ravages of Jim Crow that didn't even allow them the "privilege" of peeing in a white restroom.
Now, that makes them extraordinary. There are some black Americans who, through no fault of their own, were not able or willing to persevere. Some never even got as far as the door of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, or NASA, or universities of higher learning. They never made it into those places where their accomplishments and contributions could be realized, but NOT because they weren't qualified, they didn't make it through those doors because they were denied the opportunity to do so.
Therefore, don't be misled. Don't be deluded.
" White supremacy demands that all black American people are considered inferior, therefore it will always be in their interests to apportion or deny opportunity for black Americans in order justify their creed in perpetuity."
how many other black people, if not for white supremacy and it's tool, racism, would have been able to contribute successfully to this country, to accomplish great things?
One must always be suspect of a nation that would deny opportunity in general, and apportion it at best - in order to justify its need to perpetuate nonsensical attitudes, stereotypes and superiority of white people, to the detriment of all.