Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr was the first Black Astronaut.
As an astronaut, Major Lawrence emerges as one of the early pioneers of the space program by assisting in the development and testing of a variety of odd hybrid vehicles that would one day take man into space. In addition, he helped pioneer many of the astronaut training programs. If there were no individuals willing to go through the risks and dangers associated with extended space flight, there would not be a space station. (Click here to see Major Lawrence as a Test Pilot) The development and evolution of the many space station designs over the past 30 years was possible because of men like Major Lawrence and all of the other astronauts who had overcome the fears, risks and dangers associated with space flight.
It is both fitting and proper that visitors in general, and African Americans in specific, of this website remember Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. because he gave African Americans the history wherein the early development of America’s space program cannot be written without including African Americans. In addition, major Lawrence left African Americans a strong presence and legacy in regard to the early development and evolution of America’s space program because he took the risk and paid with his life.
In this regard, African Americans have continued to play a significant part in the space program. Since the Space Shuttle became operational, African Americans have held all of the positions associated with a Space Shuttle Crew. These positions are Mission Specialist, Pilot and Commander.