Piece image
Image by: Mae Jemison - Narrator 

Race and the Space Race

From: Richard Paul
Length: 59:18

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The unlikely story of Civil Rights and the Space Program. Read the full description.

Mae_jemison_nasa_photo_small The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights.  And because the heart of the old Confederacy was chosen as its base, NASA  played an unintended role in Civil Rights history.  In this program, we hear how this happened and we hear the stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA.  Their stories of frustration and their stories of perseverance.  Produced by Richard Paul with Soundprint and narrated by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in Space, “Race and the Space Race” tells the unlikely story of Civil Rights and the Space Program.

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Piece Description

The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights.  And because the heart of the old Confederacy was chosen as its base, NASA  played an unintended role in Civil Rights history.  In this program, we hear how this happened and we hear the stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA.  Their stories of frustration and their stories of perseverance.  Produced by Richard Paul with Soundprint and narrated by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in Space, “Race and the Space Race” tells the unlikely story of Civil Rights and the Space Program.

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Greatest Candid Piece I Have Ever Heard

How thorough. While I was born in 70 and in Houston, I had very little indepth knowledge of Texas' role in the civil rights era. Many ridiculed Texas, especially the late notice of freedom (juneteeth). This sparked my interest to such a height that I am going back and read LBJ's numerous biographies and Florida and Alabama's turmoil ignited all the more interest. I will be at the bookstore and library tomorrow.

Ron

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ANOTHER REASON FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH

This presentation was in fact "Out of this World!" I grew up in the south in the late 50's and 60's so I can relate to much of the personal experiences accounted for in this presentation. However, in more than 50 years, I never had this historical perspective of NASA and the contribution it made to changing the mores of the Old South. This was a tremendous learning opportunity. Just goes to show that there is a legitimate reason for Black History Month....all year long.

Transcript

For Soundprint and producer Richard Paul, I’m Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in Space.
MUSIC
GEORGE WALLACE: And I say “Segregation now and segregation forever.” (applause)

The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights. And because NASA had chosen to base itself in the heart of the old Confederacy, it played an unintended role in Civil Rights history.

MORGAN WATSON: The Space Program certainly helped change the South.

In this program, we’ll hear the stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA. Their stories of frustration.

JULIUS MONTGOMERY: The first day I was there nobody would shake my hand.

And their stories of perseverance.

MORGAN WATSON: The whole image of black people were riding on us as professionals.

A look at NASA’s unexplored impact on race in America.

MOSS: Sudde...
Read the full transcript

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round The Freedom Singers Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 1997 :00
Hard Time Blues Josh White Hard Time Blues. Columbia River Ent. 2000 :00
Midnight Special Leadbelly Midnight Special. Rounder / Umgd 1991 :00

Related Website

http://outofthisworldscience.org