Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ella Tyree...

Ella Tyree image source: Cliotropic (link below)

Topics: African Americans, Diaspora, Diversity, Diversity in Science, History, Women in Science

Spelman graduate Ella Tyree worked near Chicago, where she did animal research "to determine the effects of radiation on humans." She managed the lab-animal farm for Argonne National Laboratories before being promoted to a research position. Source: "Atom Scientists'', Ebony, September 1949, 26.

There are some excellent write ups about her. Two of them are in "Related links" below.

Shane Landrum, historian and technologist has a blog called "Cliotropic." Shane's Master's thesis was titled “‘In Los Alamos, I feel like I’m a real citizen’: Black atomic scientists, education, and citizenship, 1945-1960.” The title literally speaks volumes on its own with little commentary. Part of the dearth of African American STEM talent simply boils down to access and exposure. There's also a definite image the American consumer is "sold" of what constitutes the authentic "African/Black American experience." Sports and hoodlum is acceptable; scientists and engineers only in small quantities. That is socially engineered by way of standardized tests, employment bias, negative stereotypes and the unequal application of the American judicial system, specifically the need to fill private prisons with bodies post middle passage, once piled in ships; now cell blocks.

It is repeated formulaic in media and omitted history. If life imitates art, then specifically for us, it's often blaxploitation"Our place" is drilled into us, and the stratification of society into that part of humanity numerically in the majority in the United States (for now, at least until 2042). For the owners of society that inequality doesn't affect in their pristine, well-guarded enclaves, intentionally-stoked racial strife is a useful cudgel to wield on bewildered herds*.

I'll have more to say about this as we get closer to the premier of Black Panther.

In the meantime, here's the URL to the Facebook group I started for it. Feel free to join us. I have my T-shirt and dashiki. I sadly can only where one to the premiere.

The bewildered herd* is a problem. We've got to prevent their roar and trampling. We've got to distract them. They should be watching the Super bowl or sitcoms or violent movies. Every once in a while you call on them to chant meaningless slogans like "Support our troops" [or, #MAGA - my add] You've got to keep them pretty scared, because unless they’re properly scared and frightened of all kinds of devils that are going to destroy them from outside or inside or somewhere, they may start to think, which is very dangerous, because they’re not competent to think. Therefore it’s important to distract them and marginalize them. Noam Chomsky, "Media Control" (2002), page 27, more at the link.

Related links:

Cliotropic, Shane Landrum
Beyond Tokenistic Inclusion: Science, Citizenship, and Changing the Questions, Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D., HuffPost

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