Black History Month: Mae Jemison

By Maggie

Mae Carol Jemison

Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to go into space and to be admitted into astronaut training. She was also a doctor and did experiments in space! How cool is that?

About Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 (and is now 59 years old) in Decatur, Alabama. At 3 years old, she and her family moved to Chicago, Illinois. She has called that her hometown since. Mae grew up to go to Stanford University, where she was involved in dance and theater productions. After graduating, she enrolled into Cornell University Medical College to become a doctor. After a while, she made a career change. She decided to follow her dream and become an astronaut. Mae applied for astronaut training at NASA. The crash of the Challenger delayed the selection process, but when Mae reapplied a year later, she became the first African-American woman to be admitted into astronaut training. After a year of training, Mae boarded the Space Shuttle Endeavour and became the first African-American woman astronaut to go into orbit. Wow!


Mae Jemison is brave because she went into space with all of the dangerous possibilities just waiting to happen. She and her crew could've run out of air, their rocket could've crashed like the Challenger which was destroyed while taking off 6 years before. What a brave woman!


Mae Jemison is wise because she said wise things. When I looked at them, some of the things really inspired me. Like when she said "The biggest challenge we all face is to learn about ourselves and to understand our strengths and weaknesses." I've never thought about that. Have you?


Mae Jemison is intelligent because she was a doctor and doctors have to be really smart so they don't mess up on check-ups and surgeries. She also knew how to safely conduct the experiments she did on the rocket in space.

My Interview With Mae Jemison

I did an interview with Mae and got some very good answers. Please read the interview below.

Me: What did it feel like to tell yourself you were the first African-American woman in space?

Mae Jemison: It was kind of crazy because as a girl I, like lots of other young girls, had always dreamed of being famous, but never thought it would actually happen!

M: Why did you retire from NASA?

MJ: I felt that being the first African-American woman in space was tiring and I wanted to live a peaceful life again.

Mae C. Jemison - Mini Bio

Websites I Used