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President Trump, and Civil Rights in the Space Race: Houston Matters Weekend for Jan. 28, 2017

President Trump, and Civil Rights in the Space Race: Houston Matters Weekend for Jan. 28, 2017

Photo: Derek Stokely. Graphic: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaPresident Donald Trump was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017. And before the ceremony, we asked you to share what you want him to know about Houston as part of NPR’s A Nation Engaged project. On this edition of Houston Matters Weekend, we hear some of your answers and discuss them with Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at the University of Houston,

Also this hour…

Civil Rights and the Space Race

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order prohibiting government contractors from discriminating on the basis of race. Among the many organizations this affected was the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which was embroiled in a harried space race against the Russians. And while it would be another two decades before an African American would go to space, many African Americans were hired behind the scenes as mathematicians and engineers helping get the U.S. space program – literally – off the ground

However, their stories have gone largely untold – until now. A book called We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program tells the stories of the first African Americans in the space program who integrated NASA facilities in southern states like Florida, Alabama and Texas. With the release of the film Hidden Figures, we revisit Michael Hagerty’s 2015 conversation with authors Steven Moss and Richard Paul, who tell two stories running parallel — one of Civil Rights unrest and one of the frenzied race to the moon.

Concussion Research Across Texas

Recently the organization that governs high school sports in Texas, the University Interscholastic League (UIL), announced they are participating in a new study examining how concussions are happening to young athletes and how those head injuries affect them. Jamey Harrison of the UIL tells us more.

And retired soccer star Brandi Chastain has just announced her intention to donate her brain to CTE research. It’s welcome news for researchers exploring growing concerns about concussions and traumatic brain injuries among women. There may well be some differences between how men and women sustain — and then recover — from such injuries, as we learn from Dr. Summer Ott, a neuropsychologist with UT Health Science Center and the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute at the Texas Medical Center.

An Extraordinary Life

Eva Schloss is a Holocaust survivor, an author and the step-sister of Anne Frank, whose diary of life in hiding during the Holocaust was published and adapted for stage and screen. Schloss will share her story of surviving the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at an event Feb. 15, 2017 at The Wortham Center. Schloss recently spoke by phone from London with Houston Matters producer Paige Phelps and told her about her memories of Anne Frank, her ordeals when Hitler came to power, her concerns about modern global politics and her hope for the future.

Houston Matters Weekend airs every Saturday at 1 p.m. on News 88.7. If you have questions or comments about something you hear, e-mail us at talk@houstonmatters.org. | News 88.7 Program Lineup


    About the Author

    Paige Phelps

    Paige PhelpsPaige Phelps is a producer for Houston Matters. Her background is in print news, and she's spent time with Marfa Public Radio and in communications and public relations for West Texas Food Bank and North Texas Food Bank.View all posts by Paige Phelps →