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Dr. Jessica Watkins rode a Space-X rocket out of Cape Canaveral at 3:52 a.m. Wednesday. Destination: the International Space Station, where the 33-year-old astronaut became the ISS’s first Black female crew member and flight engineer. From 248 miles above sea level, this UCLA Ph.D. (geology), Cal Tech post-doctoral fellow, and fifth Black woman in space can peer down in astonishment at those on Earth who consider math racist and not quite right for Blacks.
SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts, from left, pilot Bob Hines, mission specialist Jessica Watkins, commander Kjell Lindgren, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, of Italy, wave as they leave the Operations and Checkout Building for a trip to Launch Complex 39-A Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The four astronauts will fly to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Florida, the state from which Watkins launched, recently decided not to use 54 mathematics-instruction volumes in its classrooms. “Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to critical race theory,” the Sunshine State’s Department of Education announced on April 15.
The state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said: “It seems that some publishers attempted to slap