Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration
by Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the first Black Astronaut to walk in space
Walking in the black void of space, staring at the blue-white planet Earth two hundred and fifty miles below, would be a dream for any young man. For Bernard A. Harris Jr. it became a reality on February 9, 1995, when he floated out the hatch of the space shuttle Discovery.
From humble beginnings in a small Texas town to making history as the first African American to walk in space, Dr. Harris has led a life of inspiration, dedication, and motivation.
Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History
by Von Hardesty
Colin Powell once observed that "a dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work."
This sentiment is mirrored dramatically in the story of African Americans in aerospace history.
The invention of the airplane in the first decade of the twentieth century sparked a revolution in modern technology. Aviation in the popular mind became associated with adventure and heroism.
For African Americans, however, this new realm of human flight remained off-limits, a consequence of racial discrimination. Many African Americans displayed a keen interest in the new air age, but found themselves routinely barred from gaining training as pilots or mechanics.
Beginning in the 1920s, a small and widely scattered group of black air enthusiasts challenged this prevailing pattern of racial discrimination. With no small amount of effort – and against formidable odds – they gained their pilot licenses and acquired the technical skills to become aircraft mechanics.
• The Navy’s Black Admirals
• NASA’s Black Astronauts
• Blacks in Aviation