Date: December 2007
Creator: Thompson, Mark A.
Description: Using African American newspapers, this study examines the consensual opinion of articles and editorials regarding two events associated with the space race. One event is the Soviet launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957. The second is the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Space Race investigates how two scientific accomplishments achieved during the Cold War and the civil rights movement stimulated debate within the newspapers, and that ultimately centered around two questions: why the Soviets were successful in launching a satellite before the US, and what benefits could come from landing on the moon. Anti-intellectualism, inferior public schools, and a lack of commitment on the part of the US government are arguments offered for analysis by black writers in the two years studied. This topic involves the social conditions of African Americans living within the United States during an era when major civil rights objectives were achieved. Also included are considerations of how living in a "space age" contributed to thoughts about civil rights, as African Americans were now living during a period in which science fiction was becoming reality. In addition, this thesis examines how two scientific accomplishments achieved during this time affected ideas about education, ...
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