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103-Year-Old Detroit woman still loves going to work

Jae Alan

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Entertainment

Drake donates $1M in ‘God’s Plan’ music video

Jae Alan

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History & Culture

Little-Known Black History Facts: This Black Woman Helped Develop GPS Technology

Jae Alan

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Gladys West never knew that her work at a U.S. Navy base in Virginia back in the 1950s and ’60s would play a pivotal role in creating a popular form of technology that is now incorporated into cell phones, cars, and social media.

For 42 years, the 87-year-old mathematician worked with a team of engineers that developed the Geographical Positioning System, or GPS, before retiring in 1998. West’s sorority sister, Gwen James, recently discovered the contributions that West made in GPS technology and wanted to share the news with The Associated Press.

“Her story is amazing,” said James, a fellow member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, to The AP. “GPS has changed the lives of everyone forever. There is not a segment of this global society—military, auto industry, cell phone industry, social media, parents, NASA, etc.—that does not utilize the Global Positioning System.”

After graduating from Virginia State University on a full academic scholarship, West began working as a math teacher for two years in Sussex County before obtaining her master’s degree. She then became the second black woman to join the Dahlgren, Virginia, naval base in 1956, where she was one of‌ only four black employees. During her stint, she collected location data from orbiting machines and input the data into giant supercomputers, while using early computer software to analyze surface elevations. She worked long days and nights recording satellite locations and on complex calculations. Although the work was tedious, West told The AP that she “was ecstatic” about the opportunity “to work with some of the greatest scientists.”

Read full story @ Black Enterprise

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Entertainment

‘A different kind of superhero’: Why ‘Black Panther’ will mean so much to so many

Jae Alan

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The crown for the world’s greatest black superhero has always been worn by the Black Panther.

He was also the world’s first. And for more than 50 years, Marvel Comics’ African legend has been hurling a black-gloved fist to the stereotypical notion that superheroes of color only work as side characters.

T’Challa, the man under the mask, is a king who rules an African nation that has never been invaded, one that’s the most technologically advanced society in the Marvel universe. He’s been an Avenger, married and divorced a member of the X-Men, and helped fend off aliens. Few Marvel characters come close to matching his intelligence, and he’s traded punches with some of the greatest heroes and villains around and stood tall in the end. Heck, even his grandfather punched Captain America once.

Speaking of the Captain, that indestructible star-spangled shield? It’s made of vibranium, a metal mined only in T’Challa’s Wakanda.

The Black Panther has allowed comic book fans of color to look past the medium’s lack of diversity and take solace in an undeniable fact: He’s simply one of the coolest superheroes around. The rest of the world will probably catch up next Friday, when Marvel Studios releases the hotly anticipated, ecstatically reviewed “Black Panther” movie, which is expected to make at least $120 million over its opening four-day weekend.

Read full story at The Washington Post

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