Photo by CNN

NASA Headquarters Street Renamed for Black Mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson

Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were Black female mathematicians at Nasa, the U.S. space agency. They faced incredible adversity and defied racial segregation to play important roles in major missions to space.

The three women were celebrated and profiled in the 2016 book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and the subsequent film by the same name directed by Theodore Melfi.

Related Story: ‘Hidden Figures’ No. 1 at Box Office, Surpasses Expectations

The film starred Janelle Monáe, Taraji P Henson and Octavia Spencer and received three Oscar nominations for showcasing the women’s struggles to advance in their careers during the Jim Crow era.

During the 1950s, mathematicians were called “computers” and Black people were known as “colored computers.” Black women were physically separated from their white colleagues even though they were calculating the same trajectories for missions involving the first Americans in space.

Now, NASA has taken a further step and renamed the street in front of its Washington, D.C. headquarters Hidden Figures Way.

The moment was captured on video on June 12 and people on Twitter in D.C. are celebrating too with the hashtag #BlackScienceHistory.


Shetterly, Ted Cruz, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on aviation and space, Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, Christine Darden, one of Nasa’s human “computers” during the Apollo era and members of each woman’s family were there to unveil the sign on E Street.

In February, NASA renamed a facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, after Johnson. She is now 100 years old. In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded her the presidential medal of freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Next month, NASA and the rest of the U.S. will be celebrating next month’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and first moon landing. All 12 people who walked on the moon were white American men.

Latest News

Toyota Earns the Most R&D Patents Among Automakers in IPO Rankings for 8th Consecutive Year

Originally published at pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2021, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toyota’s engineers…

Wells Fargo Announces New Initiative To Help Customers Avoid Overdraft Fees and Meet Short-Term Cash Needs

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits,…

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…