and the young history teacher inspired her

March is Women’s History Month, today we honor Somali–British writer, poet, editor and teacher @warsanshires has inspired many with her pen. The Kenyan-born U.K. immigrant released her book of poetry in 2011, titled Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth.

Warsan has read her work that documents narratives of journey and trauma internationally, including readings in South Africa, Italy and Germany, and her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. She became the first Young Poet Laureate for London and has received the Brunel University London’s African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries.

CHECK out her work here: 


Evelyn Boyd Granville Mathematician

Ms. Granville is also featured in the book: Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists on Race, Gender and Their Passion for Science;

She was one of the first black women to get her doctorate in Mathematics and she is professor emerita at California State University.

Here are snippets from her interview:

On how she first became interested in science:

I loved science. It came naturally. I also loved mathematics. When I went to college I studied astronomy and physics. Both of these subjects are mathematical in nature. 

On whether there was someone special who encouraged her early on in science:

No there was no one special, but my family supported me in going to college. I grew up in Washington DC… the support the students received was enormous. You got good training and support. You were strongly encouraged by your teachers. Even though it was a segregated system you got excellent support. You got the cream of the crop in terms of teachers. 

On the research she carried out during her career:

I worked on a variety of research topics in both industry and academia over the years. At IBM I worked on developing programmes for the IBM 650 computer. We were responsible for writing computer programmes to track the paths of vehicles in space. … I also worked for NASA on the Apollo Project. I did research on trajectory analysis and orbital computations for the NASA programme.  

During my academic career, my focus shifted a bit to developing more effective teaching methods for students and teachers. I taught in several summer programmes for school teachers…improving their skills in the classroom. Jason Frand and I also co-wrote a college textbook for usse in training elementary school teachers. 

On whats next: 

In 1998 I was invited by a public relations company in Houston for Dow Chemical to use my picture on an ad campaign for pioneers in science. That led to my being asked to visit middle schools in Texas to speak about Math Preparatory skills. That began in February 1998 (Black History Month). I travelled to Houston, Dallas and Beaumont, Texas and Shreveport, Loiusana to talk to elementary and middle school students, parents and teachers about the importance of studying Mathematics.

On what she thinks her greatest contribution to science will be or is?

…There were two young women that I taught at Fisk University That I believe I had an influence on: Vivenne Malone Mayes and Etta Zuber Falconer. If I made any contribution to science, it would be that I inspired them to become mathematicians. They both have doctorates in mathematics.