Science, Inventions, Medicine, and Aerospace


Who was America’s first black woman astronaut?

Mae C. Jemison (1956–) was named the first black woman astronaut in 1987. On September 12, 1992, she boarded the space shuttle Endeavor as science mission specialist on the historic eight-day flight. Jemison left the National Aeronautic and Space Administration in 1993 and founded a private firm, the Jemison Group. The firm specializes in projects that integrate science issues into the design, development, and implementation of technologies. She also became professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College, from 1995 to 2002. She directs the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries. Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama, and moved to Chicago with her family when she was three years old. She graduated from Stanford University in 1977 with a degree in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. Jemison received her medical degree from Cornell Medical School in 1981. She worked as a staff physician for the Peace Corps for two and a half years in Sierra Leone. Jemison, who has received numerous awards and accolades, has also appeared on television multiple times, including a guest spot on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is currently professor-at-large at Cornell University.

The first African American woman in space, Dr. Mae C. Jemison.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App