In the social media in the last few days there has been a buzz about an African-American Katherine Johnson real life story to be screened. Katherine G. Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is an American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician who contributed to America’s aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. Known for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation, she calculated the trajectory for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon.
I do hope this venture is successful and I very much looking forward to seeing this film. This however, do draw on a larger question? Has there been Black actors/actresses that have depicted mathematics or the boarder skill mathematical skill before on the TV or Big Screen? This is a tough ask given the limited times mathematics or mathematical skill is shown any way least of all by Black people.
Nonetheless, I have come up with a few examples.
- Dwain Wayne a PhD mathematics student in the TV series – A Different World.