Black History Month Spotlight – Mae Jemison, African American Astronaut

In Honor of Black History Month KGNC salutes America’s first African-American astronaut Mae Jemison.

Mae Jemison had to overcome many obstacles even at a young age.

She notes a time in her childhood when she was told “You’re a girl, don’t get your clothes dirty” by an aunt, and she answered back “how can you be an engineer without getting your clothes dirty?” 

Jemison also recalls a time, when she was six years old and was determined to become an engineer when a teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. 

She answered a scientist and the teacher asked if she meant a nurse.

Jemison answered with her hands on her hips, “No, I mean a scientist.”

In 2023 after an extraordinary career with NASA, she acknowledged that progress is being made in education, but also says there is still a long way to go, especially for women and minorities.

She also goes on to say our society does a lot of lip service to education but doesn’t invest in it the same way.

Jemison also has another distinction: she is an official Lego.

In 2017 she was included in the LEGO Women of NASA collector’s set.

Mae Jemison was born in October 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, and was an American physician and the first African-American female astronaut.

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