Space is the Place: African American Astronauts, Astronomers, and Astrophysicists

Below you will find a picture of the display and resource links to African Americans in astronautics, astronomy, and astrophysics.

space is the place display

Featured Scientists


Thomas Fuller, African slave, Mathematician, and Trailblazer, 1710-1790

Thomas Fuller, African slave and mathematician

Thomas Fuller (1710-1790) - Mathematics and the Liberal Arts

Bridging the Two Cultures: American Black Scientists and Inventors

Benjamin Banneker, Freeman, Astronomer, and Mathematician, 1731–1806 

Benjamin Banneker - Home Page

Memoir of Benjamin Banneker: Read Before the Maryland Historical Society

Benjamin Banneker : surveyor, astronomer, publisher, patriot/Charles Cerami

The African Heritage of Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker, the Negro Mathematician and Astronomer

Banneker, Benjamin Writngs

Major Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., Engineer, Pilot, and First African-American Astronaut, 1935-1967

Fact Sheets : Robert Lawrence

The unsung astronaut

Strong Men Keep Coming: The Book of African American Men/Tonya Bolden

They Had a Dream : The Story of African-American Astronauts/J. Alfred Phelps

Dr. George R. Carruthers,  Inventor, Engineer, and Astrophysicist

George R. Carruthers - Physicist of the African Diaspora

George R. Carruthers - NASA Oral History

Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century/James H.  Kessler.

Proposed mission concept for the Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Explorer(APEX)

Space Schmidt imaging telescope: optical concept and astrophysical objectives

Far-ultraviolet stellar occultation measurements of the upper atmosphere

Colonel Guión S. Bluford, Jr., Pilot, Engineer, First African-American in space

Guion S. Bluford, Jr.

NASA - Guy Bluford Remembered Twenty Years Later

Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science/Betty Kaplan Gubert

The Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed a Nation/Charles E. Francis

Applying science in space to practical needs

Dr. Derrick Pitts, Vice-President/Chief Astronomer Franklin Institute Science Museum/Fels Planetarium


MCCC’s ‘Evening Under the Stars’

Halley's Comet Almanac, 1986

A Conversation with Astronomer Derrick Pitts

The great comet crash/WHYY, Philadelphia

Dr. Ronald McNair, Physicist, Astronaut, and Martial Artist, 1950 -1986

Ronald E. McNair - Physicist of the African Diaspora

Astronaut Bio: Ronald McNair 

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Foundation

They had a dream : the story of African-American astronauts /J. Alfred Phelps

Black stars in orbit : NASA's African-American astronauts /Khephra Burns

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, Frederick P. Rose Director, Hayden Planetarium

Neil deGrasse Tyson


NOVA scienceNOW 

From black holes to black history

The sky is not the limit : adventures of an urban astrophysicist/Neil deGrasse Tyson

Death by black hole : and other cosmic quandaries/Neil deGrasse Tyson

Cosmic horizons : astronomy at the cutting edge/Steven Soter and Neil de Grasse Tyson

My favorite universe /Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, Physician, Astronaut, Educator, First African-American Woman in space

Astronaut Bio: Mae C. Jemison

Gale - Mae C. Jemison

Find where the wind goes : moments from my life / Mae Jemison.

Epic lives : one hundred black women who made a difference / edited by Jessie Carney Smith.

 Black women scientists in the United States / Wini Warren.

Black Birds in the Sky: The Legacies of Bessie Coleman and Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Beth A. Brown, NASA Astrophysicist - Goddard Space Flight Center, Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF)

NASA Quest > Astrobiology

Dr. Beth A. Brown

Careers of African Americans in Academic Astronomy

BAW: Living Black History: Astronomer Beth Brown Boldly Goes Where ...

NASA's Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF)


African American Culture and History

African American World

African American Odyssey

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Museum of African American History Boston

African Americans in the Sciences

From Banneker to Best: Some Stellar Careers In Astronomy and Astrophysics

Science NetLinks: African Americans in Science

Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences

Nasa Quest: Chats with African American Scientists

National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Astronomy, Space, and Beyond

Night Sky Info

Seeing in the Dark

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)



African-American Experience 

Oxford African American Studies Center


Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics


Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Culture/Claudia Zaslavsky.

African Americans in Science, Math, and Invention
/Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser.

African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design/Ron Eglash.

The Black Digital Elite: African American Leaders of the Iinformation Revolution/John T. Barber.

Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors/Otha Richard Sullivan

Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern (Journal of African Civilizations; Vol. 5, No. 1-2)/Ivan Van Sertima.

Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century/James H.  Kessler.

Geometry from Africa: Mathematical and Educational Explorations/Paulus Gerdes.

Notable Black American Scientists/Kristine M. Krapp.

To Fathom More: African American Scientists and Inventors/Edward Sidney Jenkins.

Women, Art, and Geometry in Southern Africa/Paulus Gerdes.

"Space is the Place" page by Leta Hendricks
February 1, 2008