February 29, 2012

African Americans that have encouraged my inner nerd

It's the last day of Black History Month, and I rarely pay enough attention to it here.  So today, I'm going to list some of the black nerds that I appreciate.

Nichelle Nichols--Not only can black women go to space, but they can look fabulous doing it!  And as season two and three of the the original Star Trek Series went on, she got more spotlight and made sisters look intelligent with poise and respect.  This was a great thing to see when I was in junior high becoming a woman: black women can be smart and pretty at the same time.

Dr. Mae Jemison--She may not have had as huge an impact as some of the others listed, but as a kid having a black woman succeed in the field of space means that I can do anything.  And believe me, there were a lot of people down the road telling me I couldn't, whether they knew it or not.

LeVar Burton--Obviously, he played an engineer on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  But he also was the host of Reading Rainbow!  So not only can I be good at math, I can be well read too!

Octavia E. Butler--another person who I had limited exposure to, but reading Parable of the Sower is inspiring in the tapestry that she weaves with character development and how to write a future world.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson--He is this generation's Carl Sagan, which is something we desperately need at this time.  He will lead us to the future of Galaxy-rises.  Also, the only person who I would like to officiate my wedding.  It's never going to happen but a girl can dream.

Finally of course, I have to make a nod to my grandfather and my mother.  They saw in Sci-fi a world where we can all be equal, or worlds that showed why not making that choice is disastrous.  They saw in it the future they wanted their children to have, and in that encouraged their families to do anything and everything they wanted to do.  Specifically thanks to my mom.  I don't think I would still be pursuing my writing dreams without her encouragement.

1 comment:

  1. I came to the works of Butler rather late, but think Kindred is an almost perfect book.