Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the University of Tennessee University Center Auditorium.

Jemison, who also is a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and authority in African-American studies, will lecture on the topic of “Achieving Excellence and Equity.”

<img src="random/jemison2.jpg"
Dr. Mae Jemison

She made history onboard the Endeavour space shuttle in 1992, becoming the first African-American woman to go into space.

The youngest of three children, Jemison was born in Decatur, Ala., and raised in Chicago. She entered Stanford University at age 16, earning a degree in chemical engineering and fulfilling the coursework for a degree in African American Studies. She earned her doctorate at Cornell University.

Jemison’s autobiography, “Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life,” is written for teens and explores her life from childhood to becoming an astronaut.

Her talk will immediately be followed by a reception and book signing in the University Center Crest Room. The University Center Bookstore will have books on sale at the event.

This event, sponsored by UT’s Black Cultural Programming Committee, is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Ryan Robertson or April Harris, event coordinators at the Black Cultural Center at (865) 974-4738 or visit the center’s website at