Page 5 - Boca ViewPointe - June '22
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June 2022                                                      Viewpointe, Page 5
       Book Review

      Black Matter Matters                                                                                 Amazon, the Kanaka Maoli astronomy from Hawaii, revealing
                                                                                                           the wisdom of non-European people in their testimonies and
      Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. The Disordered Cosmos, A                                                   perceptions of the universe. Much of her narrative is taken up
      Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, & Dreams Deferred.                                              with the discrimination that she has faced as a scientist and
      New York: Bold Type Books, 2021.                                                                     her own fraught journey through the halls of academia, which
      Margo Jefferson. Constructing a Nervous System, a Memoir.                                            reflects the disordered social environment on our planet.
      New York: Pantheon Books, 2022                                                                          For her part, Margo Jefferson also embarks on a literary
      ‘I am Black and Beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem                                               bent to capture an impressionistic, surrealistic template, her
      ….                                                                                                   “temperamental autobiography.” Covering the same ground
      Don’t stare at me because I am Dark/ because the Sun                                                 as in her earlier memoir, Negroland, which recounts her life
      has scorched me.” Song of Songs                                                                      growing up in a privileged black family in Chicago. Here the
                                                                                                           style is more avant-garde, non-linear, rendered in dramatic
      By Dr. Ronald J. Meyers                                                                              sequences, Letters to the dead, Sidebars, Entr’acte, and finally
                                                                                                           BLACKOUT, “decorations” that she terms reassembling her
         In the season that Supreme                                                                        nervous system—showing a link to the styles of Gertrude Stein
      Court Justice designate                            celebrates culture heroes like Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis   and Renata Adler. “Ask: What do I want desperately to write
      Ketanji Brown Jackson has                          Jr, and notable women writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe,   and how shall I write it? . . . . And so, back to my memory
      brought immense grace and                          Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather. Professor Prescod-Weinstein   bank’s relatively low stock of sumptuous sensory data, its
      dignity  to  her  nomination                       found inspiration in Black Historians W.E.B. Dubois, Alex   ready stock of tainted data. My sensibility is a structure of
      process, I can reference two                       Haley’s Roots, bi-racial filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah, brilliant   recombinant thoughts, memories, feeling, sensations, words.
      additional Black women of                          female scientists like Helen Quinn and Caroline Herschel. Both   . . . I’ll decorate the available decorations. I’ll decorate
      stature and accomplishment                         acknowledge their strong competitive spirit. Ms. Jefferson   the deprivations.” Ms. Jefferson and Professor Prescod-
      in distinct and different fields.                  competed for attention when she danced for her family at five   Weinstein’s bildungsroman, the account of their formation
      Theoretical Astro-Physicist                        years old, was an outstanding student and an accomplished   and transformation, does not alleviate the pain that they have
      Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and literary critic Margo Jefferson   pianist. Professor Prescod-Weinstein was raised by a single   suffered while attaining their major accomplishments in
      have brought remarkable brilliance and their distinctive   mother in East L.A., her father an Ashkenazi Jew; she was   science and written art. For neither mathematics nor literary
      Black sensibilities to their varied professions. Dr. Chanda   driven by her mother’s ambition with a nod to father’s Jewish   study can enable one to escape from the earthly curses of
      Prescod-Weinstein, self-described as “a queer Black femme,”   liturgy and faith in Hebrew metaphysics.   racism and sexism.
      enjoys familial connections to both Caribbean, Black on      Professor Prescod-Weinstein has written an informative,
      her mother’s side and Ashkenazic Jewish heritage from her   scientific work exploring the particle world of quarks, Planck’s      Dr. Ronald J. Meyers, who resides in La Paz, is an Emeritus
      father. Her narrative explains the workings of our universe in   constant, Higgs Boson, etc. The lay reader is likely to struggle   Professor of English. 
      relationship to the invisible dark matter in the cosmos that can   with the abstruse science of the mathematics of space time,
      only be captured and described in mathematics; along with her   what she terms the disordered cosmos which is her specialty.   Stamp and Coin Club
      own discordant struggles as a Black female scientist. Margo   The abundance of dark matter invisible but yet crucial to the
      Jefferson, a New York Times Book Reviewer and culture critic   formation of matter which, in her telling, is denied by many
      describes how her struggles to overcome rejection formed her   white scientists who look askance at confirming this invisible      Boca Raton Stamp & Coin Club asks you to start a
      as a theater and literary critic. Both of them emphasize their   phenomenon. In a witty metaphor, she argues the wrongs of   new hobby.
                                                                                                                Visit with us at the Stratford Courts Auditorium

      shared struggles as women and as successful professionals.   colonialism in relation to the whiteness of the universe having   located at 6343 Via Sonrisa del Sur, off S.W. 18th Street,
         Ms. Jefferson and Professor Prescod-Weinstein grew   succeeded in minimizing the importance of dark matter. She   between Powerline Road and Military Trail.
      up in mid-twentieth century, at the burgeoning Civil Rights   also pays lip service to the contributions of non-Europeans and      We meet the second and fourth Thursday each month
      movement, from which they benefited and attained success.   polemicizes for recognition of the contribution the indigenous   at 7 p.m. Please call membership coordinator Harvey
      They identified with the cultural icons in mainstream America –   peoples: highly regarded Mayan astronomy and cosmology, but   Golinger at (561) 752-4922. 
      Ms. Jefferson obsessed with Bing Crosby and Margo Fonteyn,   also the insights and intuitions of the Palikur people from the

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