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NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement$
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Brian C. Odom and Stephen P. Waring

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066202.001.0001

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NASA, the Association of Huntsville Area Contractors, and Equal Employment Opportunity in the Rocket City, 1963–1965

NASA, the Association of Huntsville Area Contractors, and Equal Employment Opportunity in the Rocket City, 1963–1965

Chapter:
(p.126) 6 NASA, the Association of Huntsville Area Contractors, and Equal Employment Opportunity in the Rocket City, 1963–1965
Source:
NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement
Author(s):

Brian C. Odom

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066202.003.0007

Brian Odom surveys the implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Odom contends that Marshall’s strategy focused on recruiting qualified African American engineering students outside Alabama and developing a partnership with the Association of Huntsville Area Contractors (AHAC) locally. By serving as both a catalyst for technical educational programs in the Huntsville community and clearinghouse for job opportunities and racial dialogue, AHAC facilitated a modicum of progress toward minority gains. During the civil rights movement, local activists such as Dr. Sonnie Hereford III and aerospace executives, including Brown Engineering Company’s Milton K. Cummings, brokered “backroom” agreements meant to improve Alabama’s “image” problem.

Keywords:   Marshall Space Flight Center, Association of Huntsville Area contractors, civil rights movement, Dr. Sonnie Hereford, Milton K. Cummings, Huntsville, Equal Employment Opportunity

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