Making Space: The Training, Recruitment, and Prosperity of NASA’s Black Computers, 1941-1970

Files

Thesis_White.pdf

Citation

ayoola, “Making Space: The Training, Recruitment, and Prosperity of NASA’s Black Computers, 1941-1970,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/489.

Title

Making Space: The Training, Recruitment, and Prosperity of NASA’s Black Computers, 1941-1970

Creator

White, Ayoola

Date

2018

Description

In this paper, I argue that HBCU presidents and educators, NASA administrators, and Black female computers promoted Black people’s participation in the space race through narratives of racial integration and uplift. Each of these three groups of actors had varying rationales for promoting greater diversity in this field, and not all of them were necessarily concerned with altruism or anti-racism. Still, the act of studying interactions between all of them is important for the understanding of the overall struggle for racial equality during this time period. Throughout this thesis, I use an interpretive framework called Afrofuturism, which, in this context, consists of imagining members of the African Diaspora as active shapers of and participants in the future, as opposed to being relegated to a primitive past or a doomed present.

Subject

space race, NASA, NACA, Black women, astronomers, mathematicians, mathematics, afrofuturism, civil rights, HBCUs, Cold War, satellites, integration, segregation, computer science, Star Trek, Hidden Figures, astronauts, futurism

Publisher

Simmons University (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (67 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses

Potential Collection

History