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‘The Space Race' brings an out-of-this-world perspective to Black History Month

·1 min

The annual influx of Black History Month programming brings forth a documentary titled ‘The Space Race’ that sheds light on the integration of the space program, the challenges faced by pioneers, and the Soviet Union’s achievement of sending a person of color into orbit before America. The documentary explores how John F. Kennedy tried to integrate the program but faced obstacles, including the portrayal of candidates as token additions. It highlights the journey of Ed Dwight, who almost became the first black astronaut, and the eventual inclusion of Guion ‘Guy’ Bluford in 1983. The film also explores related matters such as the influence of ‘Star Trek’ and actress Nichelle Nichols in diversifying NASA. Additionally, it features Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, the first person of African heritage to travel into space as part of the Soviet flights. ‘The Space Race’ offers a poignant reminder of the disparity between the noble image of space exploration and the struggle for civil rights on Earth.