BLACK IN SPACE:
BREAKING THE COLOR BARRIER, Premiering Monday February 24th at 8pm ET/PT only on Smithsonian Channel
Ric Speaks with the Emmy-Winning Director of
African American Documentaries, Laurens Grant. During the Cold War Space Race, the U.S. not only had to defeat the Soviet Union in a competition over rocketry and technological feats. It also needed to overcome its own racial prejudice. In the fall of 1957, the Soviet Union exploited America’s raging civil rights battle, claiming that the supposed land of opportunity couldn’t provide equal rights for its citizens in their own country, let alone in space. Determined to regroup on both fronts, President Kennedy ordered the Pentagon to find a black astronaut.
Smithsonian Channel’s BLACK IN SPACE: BREAKING THE COLOR BARRIERreflects on the long journey it took to achieve diversity in the skies and recounts the civil rights movement’s reaction to the Space Race. The special also studies the legacy of the world’s first black astronauts – men that led the way for more diversity and inclusion in future NASA classes and space programs around the world.
The film was directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Laurens Grant, who received worldwide acclaim for her documentaries that explore African American themes (e.g., Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement; The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; Jesse Owens; Freedom Riders; and Slavery and the Making of America: Seeds of Destruction.)
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