African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Black astronaut helps to erase myth of race limitations

I am really ashamed to admit it, but shuttle launches have become so routine I seldom pay them close attention. After the loss of seven astronauts aboard the shuttle Columbia in 2003, I've been forcing myself to read a little background on the astronauts who risk their lives to explore space, those who have "slipped the surly bonds of Earth." I'm always glad I did, but especially this time. On board right now, serving as a mission specialist, is Stephanie D. Wilson, the second black woman to fly in space. I was determined to bring this to your attention because all kids, but especially black kids, should know that African-Americans are smart enough to do whatever they set their minds to. We tend to hear the opposite, tend to limit our own potential, severely cramping any possibility of living up to the greatness of our ancestors. When we turn deaf ears to the talk and open our own minds to new things, our children, black or white, rich or poor, can be like Wilson. Wilson said her growing up in a small town with few distractions allowed the stars to catch her imagination. She became interested in astronomy first and later gravitated to engineering. In a preflight interview with NASA, Wilson said she thought "that aerospace engineering would be a good combination of my interest in space and my interest in engineering." That's a mind that has not given any credence to those who might say being smart is "acting white." After high school, she majored in engineering science at Harvard University and earned her masters in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked for two companies, specializing in robotic spacecraft and launch vehicles, before being accepted by NASA into its two-year astronaut program in April 1996. If you have a dream, achieving it takes more than rolling over and waking up. Full Story:


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