At Believe in Me, we believe in the importance of celebrating the individuals who have shown us that anything is possible. Their stories remind us of the importance of black history in shaping our world today. For this reason, the commemoration of Juneteenth is a great time to learn about the ending of slavery in the United States and to honor the culture and achievements of African Americans.
Juneteenth As A Time To Honor The Abolition Of Slavery
It is necessary to remember that Juneteenth honors the end of slavery in the United States. This celebration is considered the longest-running African American holiday. As well, the Emancipation Proclamation was one of the most important documents in American history. This Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It declared that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”. However, in the Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until June 19, 1865. After more than 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, the army announced that 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were freed by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth”, by the newly freed people in Texas.
The period of reconstruction marked an era of hope, uncertainty, and struggle for the nation. African Americans began to build their lives anew. They started families, bought homes, and established businesses. They also began to assert their right to vote and to participate fully in society. In doing so, they inspired future generations of African Americans to strive for excellence despite the odds. For this reason, it’s crucial to recall the individuals who paved the way for children of color to explore a future in science, technology, engineering, math careers, the arts, and social and political activism. Today, we want to celebrate Dorothy Vaughan. Even though she didn’t live during times of slavery, it was only 50 years later when she was born. Surrounded by instability and uncertainty for black people, Dorothy was born to become the first African-American team manager at NASA.
Dorothy Vaughan: Woman Of Color Who Reached New Heights At NASA
Dorothy Vaughan worked as an engineer at NASA, where she led one of the agency’s first all-black teams and made a significant contribution to space exploration efforts during World War II. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 20th, 1910, where she lived and grew up. As a child, she had an interest in math and science but never pursued it because black women were not allowed to attend high school or college back then. Her childhood was defined by her mother who encouraged her to pursue education in STEM.
Dorothy eventually attended Wilberforce University, a historically black college in Ohio. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked as a mathematics teacher in Virginia, even though the public schools and other facilities were still racially segregated under Jim Crow laws. It was during this time that Dorothy Vaughan began to work in the NACA – Langley Research Center as a “human computer”.
Winning The Space Race And Advocating For The Rights Of Black People
Dorothy Vaughan worked for NASA during the space race. She is best known for being one of the first black women to be a supervisor at NASA, where she led a team of mathematicians who programmed the early computers used in space exploration. In the beginning, Dorothy had to work, dine and use restroom facilities separately from her white female counterparts until 1958 when the segregated facilities were abolished, and the NACA became the NASA. Dorothy’s work helped America win the space race against Russia, and she continues to serve as an inspiration to black girls and women everywhere who want to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Besides being a trailblazing computer scientist, Dorothy Vaughan was also an educator and advocate for black rights. After working at NASA for many years, she became a member o the Alpha Kappa Alpha, an African-American sorority. There, she continued to work as an activist for black Americans throughout her life by fighting against racial discrimination in education and housing.
Recognizing Dorothy As An Inspiration Of Empowerment For Girls And Women
Although people of color have come a long way since slavery, they still face many obstacles today, such as racial discrimination within society. Many are denied access to good jobs because of their skin color, even though they may be qualified. This was something that Dorothy had experienced firsthand while working at NASA where she would not receive equal credit for her contributions despite having made significant strides toward space exploration. America was winning the space race, thanks mainly due (in part) to efforts made by black women such as herself!
Despite the challenges she faced, Dorothy Vaughan never gave up. She was an incredible black woman who accomplished so much in her lifetime, and she did it all while facing discrimination and adversity head-on. She is a great role model for girls and women of color everywhere, showing them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, despite the obstacles in their way.
Ways To Learn More About Dorothy Vaughan And The Juneteenth Celebration
If you’re interested in learning more about Dorothy Vaughan, we recommend checking out the following resources:
- Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press)
- Hidden Figures (National Geographic)
- The American Negro Academy Occasional Papers (American Negro Academy)
- A Black Women’s History of The United States (Daina Berry and Kali Gross)
- On Juneteenth (Annette Gordon-Reed)
Dorothy Vaughan is an excellent role model for girls of color and women alike because she was unafraid to face adversity and discrimination head-on while accomplishing amazing things. On Juneteenth, we commemorate the end of slavery and give credit to the achievements of black Americans as role models for society.
We should be inspired by her resilience in the face of challenges as well as her dedication to education and activism. Dorothy was a trailblazer who helped open doors for black people in STEM fields, and we can learn a lot from her example. The team at Believe in Me celebrates the African American culture by honoring her legacy!