February 2, 2014

OURstory: Dr. Bernard Harris

Did you know that Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris was the first African American to walk in space on February 2, 1995?

Dr. Harris was the Payload Commander on STS-63, the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program. He fulfilled his childhood dreams and became another pioneer in Black history.

This is not the first time we have talked about the impact of African Americans in the space program. You may recall that we showed this video of space history that isn't well known:

Did you ever dream of being an astronaut?


Regina said...

ROFLMAO@Blackstronauts!! I am mad at you about that video! Too Funny and the letter that dude sent home to his wife abut how cold it was is hilarious!

Villager said...

Regina - I encourage you to share the video with your blog readers as well!

Mission Statement said...

I think Ed Dwight was won of the First African Americans in the NASA program. His story is amazing. He is now a world famous sculptor. See his web site


Lehigh Valley Black News Network said...

Yes this is true...He was the first and was selected by President Kennedy. See his Bio below.

He produced our Monument statue in Allentown PA, the only of its kind in the world! (Dr. King and Coretta Scott King) The video is a spoof on the issues but Ed told me the real story on how it all came to be. It was real rough for him for him as the first and only. More people should know his story.
Hope Electronic Village can help. The video is a spoof but sheds light on a real issue. Ed can tell you the story first hand.

Lehigh Valley Black News Network said...

Air Force Pilot and America’s First Black Astronaut Cadidate

Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Ed left his hometown in 1953 to join the U.S. Air Force. After completing pilot training, he served as a military fighter pilot and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. In 1961 Dwight was chosen by President John F. Kennedy to enter training as an Experimental Test Pilot in preparation to become the first African American Astronaut candidate. Ed completed the Experimental Test Pilot course and entered Aerospace Research Pilot training. He successfully completed the course and continued on to perform duties as a fully qualified Aerospace Research Pilot. Three years after the death of President Kennedy, Ed left the military and entered private life.

Carolyn said...

I loved astronomy as a teenager and somehow became distracted by the turbulence of the late 60's and early 70's.

When we were introduced to Mae Jemison, those feelings of wanting to travel in space resurfaced. I understand, that she has a number of projects inspiring young women to study the sciences. Gosh, I wish I could have had an intervention by a woman like Ms.Jemison. I probably would have changed my major. Oh well..she's one of my heroines whom I honor for the month of February and frankly as often as an occasion arises to do so.

Take care and check out my post on 'Is There A Need For Black History Month?' http://perspectives-anotherwaytoview.blogspot.com/

BTW: A nice comedic touch with the video. That letter was written in such a way that one could actually feel how cold it was out there!! Who was the comedian who made that statement about one of the first black astronauts chosen in order to lose that n....a in space?

Villager said...

Mission Statement and Lehigh Valley BNN - There is room in the universe of Black History for multiple claims to historical milestones. I had not heard of Ed Dwight before. Thank you very much for sharing the link to OURstory!

Carolyn - Outstanding commentary on your blog re: Black History Month. Thank you for sharing that link with us. We definitely need to learn from our history in this nation so that we don't make the same mistakes again in the future. I would hate to see the post-reconstruction era come back upon us...