Non-Diversity before Diversity
July 06, 2012, 01:06 AM
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Apollo 11

 

Apollo 11 Launch Control, July 1969

One goal of my Diversity Before Diversity series on popular American celebrities of the past who were considered non-white then or would be today (e.g., Jim Thorpe or Pancho Gonzales) or (as in the case of pugilistic superstar John L. Sullivan) have been retconned by today's mythology into supposedly having been viewed as nonwhite back then is to point out that the color line discrimination against blacks was both quantitatively and qualitatively more severe than the discrimination suffered by other groups. 

On the other hand, it's also worth pointing out how many great achievements in American (and human) history were accomplished by what would now be considered shamefully non-diverse collections of white men. Here, for instance, is a picture of the Launch Control team that controlled Apollo 11's Saturn V rocket to the Moon 43 years ago.

I can see a young woman in the third row, and the man standing behind her might have dark skin. Yeah, but, still ...