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Uriah J. Fields

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BOLDEN RIGHT CHOICE FOR NASA ADMINISTRATOR
5/27/2009 12:46:46 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Bolden is right choice for NASA Administrator

Charles F. Bolden has been selected by President Barack Obama to be administartor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is an African American retired Marine general with a record of more than 100 Marine combat missions in Vietnam, four shuttle missions and a pilot on the flight that put the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit in 1990.


On behalf of African Americans, especially those who championed the fight for justice and equality for all Americans,I want to thank President Obama for selecting Bolden to be NASA administrator and congratulate Bolden for being so honored.


It was not easy or fast-forward for an African American to achieve this distinction with NASA. When 62-year old Bolden was in his mid-teens I was a pastor in Montgomery and human rights activist who expressed my concern about African Americans not being on the astronaut list.


While surfing the internet I came across a portion of a letter that I had sent to James Webb, Director of NASA on NevadaLabor.com News Bulletin that said: "On March 7, 1962 in Alabama, Montgomery black leader Uriah J. Fields (a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr.) called on NASA director to put an African American on the list of astronauts."


About twelve years ago Steven L. Moss contacted me and said that he was writing a thesis for a master's degee that focused on "NASA and Racial Equality 1961-1988" and that he had read whereI had communicated with James Webb of NASA and wanted to ask me a few questions. Referencing my letter to Webb in his thesis he said, "Fields told Webb that Black Americans took pride in the astronauts' achievement but wanted to see a black man in the next astronaut selection." Referring to the March 12, 1962 letter webb sent me, he writes: "Webb and NASA maintained that the selection of the original seven Mercury astronauts and future spacemen wasbased on technical qualifications and progam requirements. The adminisator insisted thatthe agency considered qualified applicants wiithout regard to race,color, or creed."


James Webb, the second administrator of NASA, had been selected by President John F. Kennedy who said that we will put a man on the moon in the 1960s. The National Aeronautic and Space Administation was established on July 29, 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower.


I had been the first African American to publicly call upon the Director of NASA to select an African American astronaut. Today, observing what has happend over these past 47 years sinceI contacted Webb, these words spoken by Theodore Parker, an abolitionist preacher, before the Civil War ring resoundingly sweet in my heart: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."


Five years after I communicated with Webb, in 1967, Major Robert H. Lawrence became the first African American to be selected as a military astronaut. In December that year he died in a jet plane crash.


In August 1979 Guion S. Blueford, Jr., became an astronaut and in August 1983, he was the first African American to go into space aboard the "Challenger."


Charles F. Bolden was selected to be a NASA astronaut in May 1980 an became an astronaut in August 1981. He was a pilot on the flight that put the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit in 1990. President Obama selected him on May 23, 2009to be NASA adminstator.


Yes, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" and because that is true it has been possible in the first decade of the twenty-first century for African Americans to be President of the United States, U. S. Attorney General of the U.S. Justice Department and NASA adminstator...during my lifetime, 47 years sinceI sent my letter to NASA's director Webbwith the request that an African American be put on the astronaut list, the change race relations in America has been phenomenal, giving substantive meaning to these words spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his "I Have A Dream Speech" a year after I sent my letter to Webb. "...that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."


My thanksare extended to all Americanswho arecommitted to creating "a moreperfect union."


(Your comments are always appreciated, pro or con.)


Copyright 2009 by Uriah J. Fields




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More Blogs by Uriah J. Fields
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• RODNEY KING RIOT - Monday, April 30, 2012
• An Acceptance of Graham's Apology - Thursday, March 22, 2012
• ENCOUNTER TWO FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHES INONE CITY - Monday, March 12, 2012
• Fields Accepts Rev. Franklin Graham's Apology - Monday, March 05, 2012
• VICTIM OF YOUR OWN SUCCESS - Thursday, February 09, 2012
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• DECIMATING EFFECTS OF INCARCERATION ON BLACK AMERICA - Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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• PRO-LIFE BEFORE AND BEYOND BIRTH - Sunday, May 17, 2009
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Five Days of Darkness by J. Michael

This fast-paced paranormal thriller shows how an ordinary family seeking spiritual freedom in a world where it is considered terrorism, must overcome the obstacles of outwitting an..  
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