My collection of old science literature and books have proven to be a priceless investment. Just recently, I was scanning back through my Reader's Digest Science Reader books because I wanted to quickly cross-check the name of a chemist featured in a 1974 article with the discussions taken place, specifically- American Chemical Society's #BHM2014 tribute video
First and foremost, content discovery is like being queen of the lab, but on the internet. Second of all, I spent the next couple of days digging into every data file containing keywords from MY resource since all I had was a manual reading device. Those are single user friendly, ya know ;)
This #BlackHistoryMonth, I would like to pay tribute to Dr. James Harris, Ebony Magazine and Reader's Digest. My Science Reader books contained features on scientists as well as the science. I went back through that book because of the unfamiliar curiosity I had with the names of black chemists, and scientists as well. After doing the quick page flip/shuffle dance, I realized every scientist featured in that book was a POC because the articles were adapted from Ebony Magazine as a collaboration for public knowledge.
Whoa. Mind blown. It wasn't a fancy textbook that contained these truths. It was scientific propaganda in minimalist form, designed to maintain the justice mentality following such time periods.
Reader's Digest collaborates with Ebony Founder
In 1942, with a $500 loan secured by furniture owned by Mr. Johnson’s mother, the Johnsons began publishing Negro Digest, a magazine modeled on Reader’s Digest. Within a year it had a circulation of 50,000. That inspired the couple to start Ebony, a monthly with flashy covers like those of Life magazine. Ebony now has a circulation of 1.25 million. Jet magazine, a weekly, was started in 1951 to highlight news of famous African-Americans; it now has a circulation of 900,000.
Mrs. Johnson, who was secretary-treasurer of the publishing company, continued to produce and direct the Ebony Fashion Fair through last year.
Over the years, hundreds of the shows have been held on Sunday afternoons, with women of all generations — many turned out in flowery hats, fine jewelry and proper dresses — leaving morning church services to get to the fair.
At the 1974 show in Manhattan, Mrs. Johnson drew a roar from the crowd when she stepped onstage during intermission and said that she could “run a fashion show from the audience.”
Ebony writer finds, interviews first black chemist. 1970.
nuclear chemist of UC Berkely's Rad Lab
"as a sort of hip,
scientific soul brother."
I also uploaded these to Google drive so anyone can access them for future use. Here is the link for the documents above:
This post is an acknowledgement of Danielle Lee's Dialogue on Diversity through action.
Dialogue exchange is easy after you diversify your sources. For those new at this (hard conversations), start small. Diversity dialogue can be found in local art. It is mostly formed and inspired by our immediate reality and values.
Here's to the hood culture that made my scientist and the music above. In fact, a #hiphoped project with local artists like this is way overdue.