This text aims to pay homage to all they whom, through sheer willpower, and with
constant labor and with innumerable sacrifices hoisted the human being until the highest summits
of the planet and especially, it aims also to honor the memory of they whom , in this cosmic quest,
so as to open to us the of stars' road, have left there their life, as from of the American side
as of the soviet's. We cannot, here, quote them all but, of our fleeting memory , let us extract
however the names of : V. KOMAROF, first victim known of the space, in April 67,
after the abortive landing of his Soyouz 1, then of Judith RESNIK 37 years old engineer
in electricity , who (after Sally WRINKLES in June 83), was the second woman astronaut
in 1984 and who disappeared on the 28/ 01/ 86 in the explosion of the Challenger's
shuttle that involved also in death, 6 other astronauts and among them , Christa
AULIFFE, 37 years, 2nd woman of this shuttle, and English professor, chosen of among
of candidates and also what has to be underlined, the black American Ronald Mc NAIR
old , who was a high specialist of the Laser.
II Who is Mae C. Jemison ?
In its nº 417 (that all Caribbean schoolboys would have to preserve preciously)
of 20 to 26 Sep 1997 in its Tv Magazine, the daily paper France-Antilles, under
the pen of Claude Rippon with the collaboration of the Tropic Association, presents
us in first page a photography of Mae.C.Jemison to remind us probably the fifth birthday of
the height of her career: Her participation of the launching the Endeavouršs shuttle on 12
(Please see the picture below):
Mae.C. Jemison was born on the 17 oct. 1956 at Decatur in the north of
Birmingam in Alabama. If we remind that Alabama was at this very moment, the bastion
of the states, the most unwilling to accept the integration of Black people, in schools reserved to the White people, the acquisition, for the little Mae, of a knowledge of an high level has not probably been without inombrables ambushes.
By the way, Mae tells herself the savory anecdote gleaned from her maternal school: "What
would you like to do, when you are older?" asked to her, a day, her mistress. "A
scientist" told without hesitation Mae. "You want to tell a nurse" retorted
to her this mistress, who, instead of encouraging her, wanted to remind her thus, of the main
role of a black woman at this period.
Indeed, it would be, may be useful, to remind to those who ignore it or who have a
short memory, that if already on the 21 Dec.1956, the Supreme Court of USA had
abolished the segregation, on the 3 Sep 1957, the Governor Orval Faubus nevertheless
took the decision to make forbidden , at Little Rock, by the National Guard , the entry
in a white high school of 9 black students, so that the President of USA was ought
to send federal troops, to make the order respected but however, local authorities preferred to
close schools rather than to admit the black student entry in their white schools and scuffles
will continue long again while the great black leader Martin Luther King was several times
arrested then released.
While Mae was going to be 6 years old , she has been able to remember of the
incredible affair of the black student James Meredith whom the entry in the University
of the Mississipi was refused, in spite of the fact that, the Supreme Court, on the 10 sep 1962,
authorized this entrance formally.
The Governor Roos Barnet came then in person, to forbid him the access of the
place and after a night of riots, 15 000 federal guards will be mobilized to insure the
saveguard of Meredith and the follow-up of his courses in this University. After a
lot of problemes Martin Luther King will himself receive, however, the Nobel Peace Price in
1964, but he will be assassinated in 1968.
It is therefore in this rather murky context , that Mae continues her studies to see and
award her, in 1977, the Chemist Engineeršs Licence at the Stanford University and at
the same time also the Letters' license in African Art and in afro-Americans studies.
Mae would have well been able to stop there, but it was well badly to know her or
wrongly to prejudge of her obstinacy. She start herself of on researches concerning the
photographic art, plastic arts and she studies languages as the Russian, the Japanese
and even an African language : the swahili.Then some years later, she obtains her Doctorate
of Medicine and undertakes to go on a study trip concerning the health in rural environment
in Kenya then after in Thailande where she takes care of Cambodian refugees
Her various studies works and humanitarian actions are going to allow her to receive many reward
and honorary decorations that would have well been able to establish comfortably her notoriety
and to give her a good place in the society. But nevertheless, she does not stop there. It is now
the computer area, booming at this moment, that fascinates her and the programming of
computers, the impression of circuits and the production of hard discs, and until
the spectography by magnetic nuclear resonance of medical scanners, have no longer secret
In 1987 she presents her candidacy to the NASA and in June 87,
she makes part of 15 selected persons, among 2000 candidates. She follows then, a
complete training year and in 1988 she receives the qualification of astronaut and
she is in charge of to realize and verify the good running of the computer softwares of the
Kennedy Spacial Center. Mastering, we know it, the Japanese, she was very designated to
accomplish the experiences ordered by Tokio in the course of the mission STS-47 and
the 12 Sep. 92 the shuttle Endeavour made vibrate the air of its 3250
(as could have make it approximately 38 Boeings 747 at the
taking-off) taking in its entrails
for a period of 7 days 22 h and 30 minutes, to a well deserved glory, from now on in future, our cosmos citizen Mae C.Jemison, first black women astronaut of USA and whose the academic cursus and the professional success can only to invite us to think about it and to question ourselves on the limits of the thirst of knowledge of the human being.
In 1993 Mae C. Jemison leaves the Nasa, where she would have been able,
nevertheless, to wait serenely a gilded retiring pension, to manage personal scientific
projects implying minorities'lives and she takes in charge then, the Jemison
Group Inc at Houston in Texas, manages also the Jemison Institute of Advanced Technologies
and animates in addition "The Earth We Share," a international scientific camp at the north of Chicago of which participate, gratuitously, students of the whole world so as to promote the knowledge at the most penniless people and at those who have not been able to get a normal and logical access to the scientific knowledge and to live thus, at the fisrt opportunity, in harmony with their environment.
Thank you so to you, dear Mae C. Jemison for all
that. It only remains for
you to receive, the most refined of rewards (for the lack of the Humanitarian
Action Nobel's prise do not existe already
but is becoming very useful) : The Nobel Peace Price
. Then , Gentlemen's
collector of Stockholm, come on ...
P.S. We receved on 12/12/2000, the
of Anne-Catherine Souchon 's book entitled
"Women of the Space" published a the end of 2000 by Publishing Carnot's publishing,
10 Quay Jean Mermoz, 78400 Chatou, but at the page 102, it is written that
Mae Jemison is born on 17 October 1957, while we had found above
17 Oct 1956.If an amiable internaut, could confirm us the good
date, we would be infinitely grateful for this.
Making out this article on the 26/01/99
and up dating it on the 30/04/2001.
Back to the index page