Mae Jemison became the first African American woman astronaut in 1987. She was a physician and scientist who also spent time with the Peace Corp. After Mae Jemison left NASA's space program, she joined the staff of a medical school, and also runs her own technology firm.
Selected Mae Jemison Quotations
• There have been lots of other women who had the talent and ability before me. I think this can be seen as an affirmation that we're moving ahead. And I hope it means that I'm just the first in a long line. (interview, on being selected as an astronaut)
• More women should demand to be involved. It's our right. This is one area where we can get in on the ground floor and possibly help to direct where space exploration will go in the future
• The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can and to be me.
• People may see astronauts and because the majority are white males, they tend to think it has nothing to do with them. But it does.
• When I'm asked about the relevance to Black people of what I do, I take that as an affront. It presupposes that Black people have never been involved in exploring the heavens, but this is not so. Ancient African empires -- Mali, Songhai, Egypt -- had scientists, astronomers. The fact is that space and its resources belong to all of us, not to any one group.
• I want to make sure we use all our talent, not just 25 percent.
• Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.
• Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations...If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out ... You can hear other people's wisdom, but you've got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.
• It is important for scientists to be aware of what our discoveries mean, socially and politically. It's a noble goal that science should be apolitical, acultural, and asocial, but it can't be, because it's done by people who are all those things.
• Science is very important to me, but I also like to stress that you have to be well-rounded. One's love for science doesn't get rid of all the other areas. I truly feel someone interested in science is interested in understanding what's going on in the world. That means you have to find out about social science, art, and politics.
Related Resources for Mae Jemison
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Mae Jemison Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/mae_jemison.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)