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Jonathan Noah Levy Media Center: Mae Jemison

Mae Jamison

Black History Month


Mae Jemison


One would need many words to describe the long list of achievements of Mae Jemison (born in Decatur, AL, in 1956). The most historic one, however, for this physician and engineer, is that she became the first African American female astronaut to travel into outer space. 


Coming from a modest but hard-working family, Mae knew from an early age that she wanted to study science and go to outer space some day. In parallel to her success at school, she also became a skillful dancer, at home in a great variety of dance styles. She entered Stanford University at 16, where she also served as the head of the Black Student Union.


On her space mission in 1992, Mae Jemison orbited Earth 127 times in over 190 hours. While there, she performed many important scientific experiments for NASA.


Mae Jemison: I Wanted To Go Into Space


Later, she became an active educator as a professor at Dartmouth and Cornell. She was also an entrepreneur, helped by her scientific skills. Mae Jemison is currently an encouraging and supportive champion of children and women of color.



African-American History - Infobase


National Women’s History Museum (NWHM)


YouTube/NOVA's Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers


NASA [1,3]

NWHM [2]

Stanford University/M. Jemison [4]

Science History Institute [5]