• Michelle Smith

Amazing Melanated Mommies: 8

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

While African American history is too extraordinary to be summed up in a year, let alone a month, we will be celebrating phenomenal women who changed the world as we see it now all while raising children. If they can do it, so can we. Lets do it!!!

Dr. Shirley Jackson is an physicist known for being the first African American woman to receive a doctorate degree from MIT, amongst many other achievements. Jackson was also the second African American woman to earn a doctorate in physics, as well as the first to awarded the National Medal of Science. Shirley grew up in Washington DC, with parents who greatly valued education. She found a love for math and science at an early age. Jackson began classes at MIT in 1964, one of fewer than twenty African-American students and the only one studying theoretical physics. She expressed that it could often get “pretty isolating” as she was often ignored and even degraded at times amongst her classmates. It was all worth it when she graduated with. Jackson went on to conducted successful experiments in theoretical physics and used her knowledge of physics to foster advances in telecommunications research while working at Bell Laboratories (Now AT&T). Dr. Jackson conducted breakthrough basic scientific research that enabled others to invent the portable fax, touch tone telephone, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting.

Dr. Shirley Jackson managed to pioneer the field of technology and science while raising a son who is a Dartmouth College alumnus. Salute Dr. Shirley Jackson for paving the way.

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