African-Americans in Astronomy and Space

Celebrating Black History Month

During February, the US celebrates Black History Month. Here at About Astronomy and Space, join us as we discover the importance of this month.

Black History Month

Statue of Carter G. Woodson
Statue of Carter G. Woodson in Huntington, WV, located near intersection of Carter G. Woodson Ave. & Hal Greer Blvd. Distributed Freely by Youngamerican at Wikimedia Commons

Black History Month began as "Negro History Week" first celebrated in 1926. Later evolving into "Black History Month," it was the brainchild of Dr. Carter Woodson. Until that time, very little emphasis was placed on the study of African-American history.

Disturbed by the lack of history of African-Americans, Dr. Woodson established the Assn. for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Assn. for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915. In 1916, he founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. The second week of February was chosen for Negro History Week because of the birthdays of two men with great influence on the history of African-Americans, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Black History Biographies - Astronomy

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist. Delvinhair Productions

African-Americans have played a major role in the history of the United States of America and have much to be proud of. Here, we would like to celebrate just a few of the achievements of African-Americans in the fields of astronomy and space. This list is but a drop in the bucket and while it will continue to expand will never be complete.

Black History Biographies - Space Exploration

Challenger Ronald E. McNair
Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51L Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair. NASA

Pictures, Books and Puzzles

Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison. NASA

Black History Resources from Other About Guides

Guion "Guy" Bluford - NASA Astronaut. NASA