March 8, 2021 – Mae Jamison – astronaut, medical doctor

Caption: Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, gives a lecture on “Looking Up” at UW-Madison’s MLK Day observance in Madison, Wisconsin, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. RICK WOOD / MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

2017 International Women’s Day Quote:

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations” – Mae Carol Jamison

In 1992, returning from a flight on the Space Orbiter Endeavor, Dr. Jamison said about women and women of color:

“More women should demand to be involved. It’s our right. This is one area were can get in on the ground floor and possibly help to direct where space exploration will go in the future.”

Mae Carol Jamison was born in 1956 and is an American:

  • engineer,
  • physician,
  • CEO,
  • former NASA astronaut,
  • author, 
  • actress in an episode of Star Trek: The next Generation and a
  • dancer.

She has been inducted in the national Women’s Hall of Fame and in international Space Hall of Fame. Did I mention she was the first black women to venture into space?

Dancing in Space: Mission Specialist Mae Jemison poses in Spacelab-Japan, 1992. (National Archives Identifier 22725970)

From kindergarten forward she told teachers she wanted to be a scientist and they channeled her to nursing. She began studying dance at 8, entered high school at 12 and joined the cheerleading team and Modern Dance Club. She learned ballet, jazz, modern dance and she aspired to be a dancer. At 16, she was off to Stanford where she was head to the Black Students Union and choreographed musical theater productions.


During her senior year in college she was still struggling with medial school or doctor. So, she got a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B. A in African and African-American studies. . Her mother helped her clarifying her career path by telling her: “You can always dance if you’re a doctor, but you can’t doctor if you’re a dancer.” And yes, she has a dance studio in her home.

When asked by a 12 year old girl she told CNN:

“She asked, How did being a dancer help you be an astronaut? Because dancers have to be very disciplined. You have to practice all the time. You have to constantly rehearse and pay attention to the people around you. You have to memorize complicated structures and scenarios. You have to be pretty thick-skinned as well because you have to be able to take criticism and apply it. All of those things are valuable.”

Dr. Jamison is one of the most remarkable women I have read about recently. She spends her time giving back and encouraging other your woman to pursue their dreams. The list of her accomplishments/honors/publications is long and best viewed on her Wikipedia page. 

In 2017, LEGO released the “Women of NASA” set, with minifigures of Jemison, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Nancy Grace Roman.

Other places to learn about her are:


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