Black History Month, Ronald McNair, the Space Shuttle, and a Book

February is Black History month, and when we take a look at this month from the perspective many of us have today, it’s hard to imagine–or for others, to remember–that life was very different for so many people not so long ago.

In 1986, astronaut Ronald McNair was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it was destroyed in our atmosphere.  He was one of the seven astronauts who lost their lives and changed many of our lives forever.  But before he became an astronaut, he grew up in a place where little black boys didn’t become astronauts…in fact, they weren’t even supposed to borrow library books.

This youtube video is a story by Ronald’s brother Carl, who told StoryCorps about Ronald when they were growing up (if you haven’t listened to StoryCorps, you should.  Stories from anyone are recorded and preserved at the Library of Congress, and each story is a shared memory about someone they knew…many times these people are relatives or spouses.  You listen to everyday people talking about everyday people, and the stories are amazing, and funny, and serious…you can go to to hear some of them, or to find out how to record a story of your own for the Library of Congress).

Enjoy this story, and take the time to think about how far we’ve come in 50 years, along with where we need to go from here.



~ by alanotte on February 24, 2013.

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