Black Astronaut Wrestles With Injustice On Earth As He Heads To The Moon

Black Astronaut Wrestles With Injustice On Earth As He Heads To The Moon

NASA astronaut Victor Glover Jr. is preparing to pilot the Artemis II lunar mission in 2024; however, his more immediate desire is to drive home the gravity of the moment for a country that remains drenched in the stain of racial injustice.

Glover will travel further than any Black person before him when the historic trip around the moon commences; but before takeoff, he’s using his spotlight to educate both his co-workers as well as fans of NASA on just how much this all means.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the 47-year-old California native said he likes to start at the very foundation of our country when elevating the consciousness of those who come to hear the national hero speak.

“I like to highlight Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, the part [of the Constitution] that says all people are accounted for the purposes of taxation and representation but everybody else is considered 3/5 of the person—remember, that’s still in there,” Glover said of the reference made to enslaved Africans. “I encourage them to read the Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, the Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter,” he said.

Glover’s trip will feature astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, who will become the first woman on the moon, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, he knows that by virtue of his race, the moment reverberates further and much deeper than any other. “The exciting thing about being a first is that there is a prospect of there being a second, a third, and a fourth, and it actually becoming normal,” Glover said. “I really look forward to the point where it’s not remarkable that a Black man is exploring the solar system—or running this country.”

Glover already made history in 2021 when he was the first astronaut to live long-term aboard the International Space Station.

But in a year that followed the unjustifiable murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, the weight of knowing that the fight for equality was happening at a pivotal moment in his personal life was heavy for Glover. “It could’ve been me” is the message he said he tried to drive home for his co-workers.

With a deep understanding of the complicated space he must traverse—a very real fight on Earth for Black people and a momentous occasion to further deepen our knowledge of the unexplored parts of our solar system as a Black astronaut—Glover is navigating it with the past pushing him forward.

“I’m the fruit of the labor—and the seed for the next generation as well,” he said.