First Black Woman Astronaut in Space Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Carol Jemison was born October 17, 1956, and she is certainly a black radical. Dr. Jemison is a US engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

A Decatur, Alabama native, Mae Carol Jemison was the youngest child of her parents, Charlie Jemison and Dorothy Green-Jemison. Her dad was a maintenance engineer supervisor for a charity organization, and her mother worked as an elementary school teacher, teaching English and math at the Beethoven School in Chicago.

Early on, Mae was deeply interested in the sciences. In college, Mae studied the physical and social sciences and learned to speak two languages, Russian and Swahili. She earned a degree in chemical engineering, as well as, in African studies.

First Black Woman Astronaut

After college, she studied medicine for four years and became a practicing medical doctor. She is an extremely intelligent and determined individual with radical nature.

Jemison was one of 15 astronauts chosen by NASA out of more than 2,000 applicants to go on her first space expedition. When she was younger, not only was Dr. Martin Luther King an inspiration, but Jemison says that actress and vocalist, Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek, was also a “guiding light.”

Jemison became the first Black woman astronaut in space in 1992. She was a Mission Specialist on the shuttle, Endeavour, where the mission was a joint event between the United States and Japan. Dr. Mae also had the honor of being America’s 50th shuttle effort. On this flight, Jemison worked with another scientist on two bone-cell experiments. These experiments also included investigating weightlessness and motion sickness.

Astronaut in Space Mae Jemison

In 1993 Jemison founded her own company, the Jemison Group that researches, markets, and develops science and technology for daily life. Jemison also founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, named in honor of her mother.

Jemison has vocally credited her parents as the best scientists, mainly because they asked the most and best questions. No topics were not allowed the time and space in her upbringing, which really helped Dr. Mae in arts and sciences.

She believes the future of science and arts, especially for black youth, depends heavily on the leadership, guidance, and positive influence parents give to their children. Far too often, parents run their children from science because average parents often do not understand science.


The reason we are enjoying the internet and all the technologies we have today is that of the scientific seeds that were planted 30 years ago. We, adults, are responsible for continuing to plant these seeds. The first black woman astronaut in space, Dr. Mae Jemison, a black radical, and educator.


Dr. Mae Jemison Speaking (Click Play)



Cheikh Anta Diop born on December 29th of 1923, was a historian, anthropologist, physicist, and politician who studied the human race’s origins and pre-colonial African culture. In 1946, at the ripe age of 23, Diop decided to go to Paris to study. He originally thought to study mathematics as his major of study.

Dr. Diop only later decided to enroll to study philosophy in the Faculty of Arts of the Sorbonne. He earned his first degree in philosophy in 1948 and quickly enrolled in the Faculty of Sciences, where he received two diplomas in chemistry in 1950.

According to Diop’s personal writings, his body of education in Paris included studies in History, Egyptology, Physics, Linguistics, Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology. He was very well-rounded and educated individual. Not only an educator, Diop had been politically active.

He was involved in the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), which is an African nationalist organization that was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Dr. Diop was the general secretary of the RDA students in Paris from 1950 to 1953. Under Diop’s leadership, the first post-war pan-African student congress was organized in 1951.

Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop Bio Story

Diop’s understanding and main theory of Africa were that the political strife for African liberation would not be successful without the civilizing role of the African being acknowledged. This he believed began with ancient Egypt. He singled out the contradiction of “the African historian who evades the problem of Egypt“.

Black Africa: the economic and cultural basis for a federated state is one of Cheikh’s books and is the on that best expresses Diop’s political aims and objectives. In Black Africa, Diop argues that only a united and federated African state will be able to overcome the crying issue in Africa, which is its underdevelopment conflict. He proposed to establish a single African language, which should be used across the continent for official, educational, and cultural purposes.

cheikh anta diop black radical

Struggle of Official Recognition

His initial doctoral dissertation submitted at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1951, was based on the premise that ancient Egypt, with all the glory of the past pharaohs, was an African civilization.

This dissertation was rejected by “white” Eurocentric educators. Regardless of this, Diop’s dissertation was finally published by Presence Africaine; and it was under the title Nations Negres et Culture in 1955 (which won him global recognition).

Diop pushed to have his doctorates granted again, and two additional attempts were turned back once again. It wasn’t until 1960 when he entered his defense session with an array of sociologists, anthropologists, and historians; that he triumphantly carried his argument.

Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop Biography

It took nearly a decade of enormous and arduous effort, but Diop finally won his Docteur es Lettres! In that same year, 1960, were published two of his other works; the Cultural Unity of Black Africa and Precolonial Black Africa.

In 1966 at Dakar, the World Festival of Negro Arts honored Diop.

He was honored as “the black intellectual who has exercised the most fruitful influence in the twentieth century.”

Diop passed in 1986 on February 7th. He is remembered as a towering Sudanese black radical, educator.


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