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Homage to Mae C. JEMISON

A cosmic trip for a truly brilliant citizen

I Introduction

  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 C. Mac AULIFFE, 37 years, 2nd woman of this shuttle, and English professor, chosen of among thousands of candidates and also what has to be underlined, the black American Ronald Mc NAIR 36 years 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 September 1992. (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 in 1980. 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 for her.

   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 tons'thrust (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.

III Conclusion.

   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.


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