Mae Jemison is one of only four Black women to have achieved the feat of traveling into space. The final frontier. Her success boiled down to seeing beyond what society tells us is possible.
When Jemison applied for the space program in 1985, she had already witnessed Guion Bulford take flight for NASA. Seeing a Black man doing the extraordinary further pushed Jemison to become an astronaut. What she did with her time after space truly set her apart.
Another of Jemison’s muses, Nichelle Nichols, portrayed Lieutenant Notoya Uhura on Star Trek the original series in the 1960s. Jemison appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation herself. But this isn’t about fantasy. Jemison has helped create a reality for our people.
She wanted to give back, and she understood the power of representation. Since her time at NASA, Jemison has created foundations that have gone on to support Black youth in STEM.
Mae Jemison continues to advocate for science and technology programs for Black kids. Seeing ourselves reflected on and off screen sparks change, just like it did it for Jemison. Representation matters.