IAS Film Screening: Journeys of Black Mathematicians
IAS Film Screening: Journeys of Black Mathematicians: Forging Resilience
Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 5:30 p.m.
Journeys of Black Mathematicians: Forging Resilience (2024, 58 min.) is the first of two documentary films produced by Zala Films as part of the Journeys of Black Mathematicians project started in collaboration with SLMath (MSRI) in 2020.
Forging Resilience traces the evolution of a culture of Black scholars, scientists and educators. The film follows the stories of prominent pioneers, showing how the challenges they faced and their triumphs are reflected in the experiences of today's working Black mathematicians. Their mathematical descendants in turn are contemporary college students, and K-12 children across the U.S. who are learning that they belong in mathematics and STEM.
With over 50 individuals featured, the film is a panoramic survey starting with the first Black Ph.D., Edward Bouchet (1877), and W. W. S. Claytor, extraordinary exemplars from the early and mid-20th century who prepared the way for several of the trailblazers filmed for this project. The oldest of these is Virginia K. Newell (born in 1917), followed by Evelyn Boyd Granville, the second Black woman to earn her Ph.D. in mathematics, who died in 2023 at the age of 99.
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