tv News4 Your Sunday NBC February 24, 2019 5:30am-6:01am EST
good morning. this is "news 4 yousunday". hello. we are continuing our celebration of blackmoistory h with a look at african-american women who are thriving in the worldte of and steam. we begin today with a look at a virginia woman who helped to develo the gps. yes, the gps that's probably in your car. joining us is marvin jackson who is executive producer of a documentary aboutomen of color in stem. this documentary includes the story of dr. gladys west. welcome, dr. jackson.
for those of you unfamiliar with dr. west, tell us about her. she's another hidden figure, isn't she? >> she really is. allf a sudden, she has come out and everybody knows aut her, but gladys west is a remarkable woman. back in 56 she took a job with theavy at a laboratory and base. she didn't know where she was going. she didn't know anything about the navy. she thought she was going to be aer all her life. all of a sudden, she takes this yhe job andecomes one of the people who did the math to come up with the gps program and not just gps. she did's lot of math for t navy. she is one of the hidden figures that people don't even realize. when she went there, there were only two other blacks employed there at that base. she just came in there and she just went ahead. she had a lot of confidence and
a lot of strength. i think that's something that women of color have h always. her mother had it, but her mother didn't have the formal education. >> and you mentioned just a few african-americans there. one of them was her husband. >> ira. >> he became her husband. >> he's another great person. he was a mathemetician also, but we're doing this on women of color. >> as a matter of fact, we have documentaryyour let's take a listen. >> during my time i never thought in terms o stem because it wasn't proper back then, but i alw thought about women doing their best and being tir best. our world can't be the best world if we don't use all ourta nts and god has created all this tent and we kecan't just push it aside special piand pic
we want. >> the words of dr. west who is now 88. >> 88 years old. >> just tcently, in f in the past year, she's starting to get all of this new recognition from the air force. why so long? >> well, you know, first of all, a lot of black women were doing things in stem and they never got recognition. the reason why i think she started getting recognition is she just happened to menon at a sorority event that she had orked on the gps program and one of the sorority sisters, aka, she decided we need to do an article on you, so they did an article within the sorority and then someone did a newspaper article about her.on and then eve started realizing that dr. gladys west was somebody special. >> and the navy started calling agai >> and the navy, oh my goodness,
they call her all the time. they want her at all their events. they've given her several honors. they realize now this lady wasl, spec you know. i think the special wasust her strength, her confidence to go in there by herself and do it and then the fact that she was brilliant. a brilliant woman. >> your film also highlights stem students atifrent ages and stages. tell us about them. >> well, we have students that we are going to feature in the documentary, students from right here in the d.c. area. those students, their passion for stems unbelievable. i think we do have a clip of that and it just shows how much -- they told me they are gog to be either an engineer or a cimathme and they would like to get other young girls
interested in stem. >> you focus on girls in stem. >> yes. about is documentary is is about women of color in the past, yesterday like gladys west, women tomoy and women ow, which are these little girls who are going to be awesome. >> we're going to hear from some of them. we're going to take a break first and we'll be right back to continue our conven with marvin jackson. stay with us.
. welcome back. we're talking about women of color in stem as we celebrate black history month. we were just talking tovi m jackson who has produced a documentary about dr. gladys west who helped to create and develop the gps system. ere are children in your documentary. we'll listen to some of them right now. these are girls who are striving in them.
>> in third grade we bill our own ferris wheel from carnivals. in fourth grade we built a roller coaster using -- they're like legos, buthey're not legos. it was really fun. it took us a long time. >> there's no such thing as male jobs and female jobs. they want,o whatever whatever they put their mind to. if they believe it, they'll achieve it. >> you have a daughter, so you have a vested interest in this topic. >> yeah. and when my daughter was a little girl, we used to do things like making i guess rainbows with hoses. we use to do things like we'd go to the ocean and she said i'm going to come up with a cure for sinus problems. she'd getro water the ocean. so i started her doing those kind of things. then all of a sudden, she went into science andh t in high
school. that science and tech program really gave her a great foundation and she went on to do some greathings. i think thats it sta at home where you can let girls know oey, you can do stem. you can science. you can do math. you can do technology. >>ou actually work in entertainment and sports production, so why did yde de to take on this documentary as a project? >> a lot of it has to do with the fact that when i was a kid, i never saw a woman who was a mathematician. i never saw a woman doing science. i never saw wen doctors. so i started realizing thereav mustbeen something somewhere, but i didn't see them. so of course, if i didn't see them, the little girls that i knew didn't see themer ei so it's about time that we should let little girls know that there are women out here who are doing stem work. i think that helped wn they
see someone who looks like them who's doing stem. it kind of m helpsivate them to do stem type work. and i also -- there was a young lady i met who teachesnc in p george's county school system. she was a medical doctor, but she left and wentack to teach and she teaches medical science at a high school in prince george's count gave up her medical doctor thing and went bk to teach girls. i noticed her class hadrl 75% in it and you should see how those girls looked at her. so think it's just to let people know we don't just have women who are doing singing, dancing, and doing things in the movies, but we have women who are doing things in science and technology. >> and are there other women of color in stem featured in your -- >> s, we do. we have a young lady, we have students.ege we have a young lady who is studying to be a marine
we have a woman who the last time i talked to her she was in montana monitoring bear, black bears. she also -- she's a conservation scientist. she also was -- back in january she was in africa in the congo basin doing some monitoring of gorillas. this lady is very special and i thinkeople are going to enjoy seeing her on this documentary. we have women doing all kinds of things, but you have to have a documentary like this for our women of color to see this. >> how well we see it and when will you have it ready fors to see? >> well, i think that it should be ready like the first of the fall, maybe september. we don't know where it's going to be yet. it will be on video. it will be available to school systems. it will be somewhere -- we
haven't decided yet. we'll come back and let you know. >> you're producing it right here in prince george's county, so that's -- you're right your own back yard. >> ctv has really helped with that. m doing it independently, but ctv has -- they have given me allinds of resources. >> we can't wait to see what valuable work for young women and young men the documentary is entitled "women of color in stem". >> yes. yesterday, today, and tomorrow. >> ae' right. and going to learn more about dr. gladys west in an nbc black history month special coming up this morning at 11:30 after "meet the press". up next, a woman whose work involves the "a" in steam. we'realking about t arts. stay with us.
african-american woman who is thriving in the feel of steam. joining us now i sedaka, a visual artist and ceo. it's good to have you. >> thank you for having me. >> your bio says you're a former journalist. how did you leave that and take on your calling in art? >> i went to hampton university and got a degree in journalism. i was writing for newspapers and i went back to denver for a little while and left that becausete always w to be an artist and felt like that was my calling. >> where does your inspiraouon from art come from? >> black women identity. i always think about whe i was in fourth grade going to the museum on a field trip and not seeing anything that reflected my story. so i feel like it is very important f me to be that person who can tell what is it like to be a black woman and what are we eeriencing and
going through but from an empowered perspective. >> let's take a look at some of your empowering work and tell us what we are seeing, the. images >> this is one of my this is called the hampton woman about braiding hair and how we do each other's hair and this is hope and grace, which is at manassas rightnow. this is my two church ladies having a conversation. people said that they seem like they were talking about somebody's fashion. >> it looks like church ladynd church guy. >> this is my motherhood painting. when you're breast feeding, you're a tired mom and sometimes you're doing your work, but you're passed you've got your baby and you're doing what you have to do. a lot of my e piecesecially recently are reflective of motherhood. >> i love theolors and the texture that you include. that's your style? >> yes. i am very q influenced lt
work and fabric work, so although all of my pieces are acrylic, they mimic the african-american quilts and fabrics. >> we ha some here. we've got pillows. you've got earris and this beautiful art work that we displayed here on the desk. i understand that this is a family business. art ishe businessf your household. >> yes. my husband is an artist as well so we met actually, he came to one of my art shows and w hit it off and have been combining our businessthince . we also have a -- we have three kids, but our 9-year-old daughter is also an artist and a professional artist. >> so do d they allo this? >> a all do that. i was always into merchandising and thinking about -- because original art and fine art can be a little bit pricey, especially when you're seeing did in museums and galleries. i've always been focused on how
can people afford art and have art in their houses and in their lives and otheryb ways? you don't have $5,000 for a painting. we havein . we have throw pillows. we have earrings, we have shirt, and all kinds of things. fabric that you can purchase that has the artt on and there are other ways you show the art, other ways to appreciate the ar and have the art involved in your life. we also have the original that you can put on your walls if you're a collector. >> when you mention professional art, what do you mean by that? >> we are full-time artists. that is how we pls b for us as adults who have bills. my 9-year-old is savg her art sales to purchase an apartment complex when she is 16 or w 17 becaus in our home school are really big on creating residual wealth and how that help particularly african-american families. >> you and your husband have knowio exhib together in manassas? >> yes.
it is a travelingxhibit. it's in manassas and we're going to a couple of other galleries in d.c. a then we're going to head to the west coast. it's called born at the bottom of the ship and it' reflection on the american desen dents of slaves. >> where can w find your art? >> you can find anything we're doing in any of our merchandise on our website. th month we are at the center for arts manassas. we are also at johns hopkins international sch gl. we've art in those four galleries. i also curate in columbia heights. there is a show up there right now which features a couple of oupi es, but as it grows, we'll feature other pieces. >> this is fantastic work. we're going to take a break. we'll be right back.
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t we'reking with a woman who is thriving. you are an artist extraordinaria. >> thank you. >> an artist committed to the community where you bought a house and where you are planting the arts because you wan it to thrive in that community. tell us your story. >> we live in ward seven. we live in dean woods. just purchased a home there maybe two years ago and have been having events at ourd hous working to bring fine arts to ward seven and give the kids that live in ourre the opportunity to see that you can thrive and be an artist. there's manays you can be an artist. we sell paintings, of course, but there's other things you can sell too. we sell t-shirts. we do workshops and try to get the kids out ofard seven into some other parts of the city and give them an opportunity to participate in the arts and make some money. >> why is it so important for you to do it in that community?
>> because that's our community. it's imperative for us as professional and successful ans to go back into african-american communities and inspire the people that we not even just the kids, but the adults as well. onur block we have a lot of city-based housing and nt governased housing, and letting people know that there's opportunities for them to build their own business and grow and get on their own 2 feet. evenupementing income by starting your own business and getting on your own 2 feet. >> you're sponsoring a city wid art competition. >> yes. we have the creative expressions competition. will be our sixth annual. we do iton innction with the pepco arts gallery. in the previous yvers w worked with metro as well. it is open tony student in second grade through 12th grade and our theme this year is telling our stories. so we ask f our youth to
create art work that is talking about who they are a how their identity positively impacts the community. they submit the art work. the art displays at the arty. gall the winners have previously had work that showed on a metro bus. with the display throughout the building, it will provide opportunities for our young people to show their art and sell their art and work on professional level. we also give prizes to teachers and parents who are entering their students. >> you say this is your sixth year. >> this is our sixth ar. >> what inspired you to do this on aity wide basis? >> we were with an organization call high tea society sich was started by my mother-in-law and wanted to give young girls opportunities to work. this is one of the projects that has grown from theh h tea society. >> so you are -- when you talk about being a professional, art really is infused -- you've
infused every area of your life. >> yes. >> but it's also how you express who you are. >> absolutely. en you love mething, especially with art, you can put it into everything that you do. and to anybody that you come in contact with. it's a blessing to be a great painter, but i always think about, youknow, as a great painter, how can i give back to my commisity? that through a mural? is that through a workshop? is that through providing opportunities for other young people to be able to step into some of the shoesnd opportunities that i've been given? >> i see art as a wayxp toss who you are, your taste, your y moodr views and vision of the world around you. but i don't see myself as an artist. can anybody do what you do? or is it something you just have to be born with? >> yes and no. i thiry that edy has some kind of art in them, but there is definitely a skill that goes into learning how to tell a
story through visualrt. especially because one of the things i love about art is that i can tell an ugly truth. i can paint are pic about something hard that's going on in the community and reach a magnitude ofe who maybe don't relate to me or maybe w haven't be previously connected to me. it takes a skill tonow how to say certain things or what colors to use or what angles to e. >> you're a powerful communicator and a wonderful artist. thank you so much. once again, give us your website address. >> make sure that you visit terrellartsdc.com. we have our merchandise, our art work. you send usny inquiries about workshops or anything you would like to have done. >> the art work you brnkght here i t'm going to keep for myself. >> it's yours. >> thanks a lot. and thank you for being with us. to see news for your sunday,
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