Black History Month Spotlight: Mae Jemison

Black History Month Spotlight: Mae Jemison

By: Ledesi Nkpigi, Diana Prudius, and Misha Speede


In honor of Black History Month, Glasgow students celebrate people who have impacted the world in which we live. Spotlight #4 is Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program (June 4, 1987), and later, the first Black woman to enter space (September 12, 1992). 

Mae Jemison is a woman of many talents. She’s a doctor, a NASA engineer, an author, and an actress. She has written many books about space travel, our solar system, and our galaxy. Mae Jemison has won many well-deserved awards, but her greatest achievement is that she is the first black woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. 

In college, she was one of the only African American students in her class and faced discrimination. She graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and African American studies. She went to space in the shuttle “Endeavor”, serving as an astronaut for about six years total. In an interview in MAKERS, she said, “There is an African Proverb that says, ‘No one shows a child the sky.’” She started foundations like the Jemison Foundation, an advocate for science literacy, and DARPA, a project working to eventually send humans to another star and planetary system.

Mae Jemison broke barriers, letting no obstacles get in her way. Not only is she an amazing astronaut and astrophysicist, but an inspiration to others.


 PBS – Mae Jemison, First African-American Woman in Space

Meet the First Black Woman in Space Mae C. Jemison | NowThis

Women’s History – Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison On Being The First Female Astronaut Of Color

Biography – Mae C. Jemison

Meet Mae Jemison, a Super Scientist | NASA: Challenging the Space Frontier