Black History Month (Feb. 1- Feb. 28) is a month where we have the opportunity to highlight, recognize, and acknowledge the contributions, achievements, and culture of black people. This Black History Month we have decided to highlight those who have made historical and impactful contributions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
We kick off our celebration of Black History Month with Dr. Mae Jemison!
In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Born in Decatur, Alabama on October 17, 1956, Jemison had aspirations of becoming a scientist.
“In kindergarten, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her a scientist,” Jemison said in an interview with Ebony. “She said, ‘Don’t you mean a nurse?’ Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a nurse, but that’s not what I wanted to be.”Jemison in Ebony magazine.
Jemison graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago in 1973 before enrolling at Stanford University at the age of 16. Jemison graduated from Stanford with degrees in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. In 1981, she went on to receive her Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell University.
On June 4, 1987, Jemison became the first African-American woman admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space, traveling aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.