Month: February 2016

Shirley Ann Jackson:Physicist and First Black Woman to Earn A PH.D. from MIT

Shirley Ann Jackson, born in 1946 in Washington, D.C., has achieved numerous firsts for African American women.  She was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); to receive a Ph.D. in theoretical solid state physics; to be elected president and then chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); to be president of a major research university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York; and to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Jackson was also both the first African-American and the first woman to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jackson’s parents and teachers recognized her natural talent for science and nurtured her interest from a young age.  In 1964, after graduating as valedictorian from her high school, Jackson was accepted at M.I.T., where she was one of very few women and even fewer black students.  Despite discouraging remarks from her professors about the appropriateness of science for a black woman, she chose to major in physics and earned her B.S. in 1968.  Jackson continued at M.I.T. for graduate school, studying under the first black physics professor in her department, James Young.  In 1973, she earned her Ph.D. Shirley Jackson completed several years of postdoctoral research at various laboratories, such as Fermi in Illinois, before being hired by AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1976, where she worked for 15 years.  She conducted research on the optical and electronic properties of layered materials, surface electrons of liquid helium films, strained-layer semiconductor superlattices, and most notably, the polaronic aspects of electrons in two-dimensional systems.   After teaching at Rutgers University from 1991-1995, Jackson was appointed chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by Bill Clinton.  In 1999, Jackson became President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she still serves today.  In 2004, she was elected president of AAAS and in 2005 she served as chairman of the board for the Society.  Dr. Shirley Jackson is married to a physicist and has one son.




Willie Hobbs Moore: First African-American Woman to Earn a Ph.D. In Physics

Willie Hobbs Moore was born on May 23, 1934 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She and her sisters were the Hobbs family’s first generation of college graduates. Moore left for the University of Michigan College of Engineering in 1954, the same year that the U.S. Supreme Court decided against de jure segregation in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case. She earned three degrees from the University of Michigan: her Bachelor’s in 1958, her Master’s in 1961, and her Ph.D. in Physics in 1972. When she received her doctorate, she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics, almost 100 years after Edward Bouchet, the first African-American to earn his Ph.D. in Physics in 1876. Moore’s doctorate was completed under the direction of the noted infrared spectroscopist, Dr. Samuel Krimm and focused on a theoretical analysis of secondary chlorides for polyvinyl chloride polymers. Her research has been published in a number of scientific journals including the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, the Journal of Chemical Physics, and the Journal of Applied Physics. She held engineering positions at Bendix Aerospace Systems Division, Barnes Engineering Company, and Sensor Dynamics Inc. and later became an executive with Ford Motor Company, working with the warranty department of automobile assembly. She was also very active in STEM education for minorities. She died at the age of sixty in 1994, in Ann Arbor, MI. In 1995, she was awarded the Edward A. Bouchet award at the National Conference of Black Physics Students posthumously. Dr. Moore’s trailblazing life will be remembered in how she paved a way for so many.

Source: Center for History of Physics at AIP

Love Letters: London (A Love Letter to Black Women Around the World)

This is Beautiful! Definitely a must watch!

Forever Black Effusion

I love this video, black men and one white man in London, UK show their love and appreciation of black women around the world. Black Love Forever.

Azure Professional and UK Film Director Lawrence Coke created the Love Letters documentary to be a global voice of love and appreciation for Black women. Shot entirely in London, we captured heartfelt stories and memories of Black men sharing their feelings on the importance of Black women in the family.

The climate of social media for Black women can be wrought with judgment and contentious headlines, so we wanted to add something positive to this space. We didn’t use men to define what makes Black women the backbone of our community, but to help reaffirm what they already know about their strength, beauty and immeasurable worth.

Azure Professional is a company dedicated to manufacturing tools that raise the quality of life of our…

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