Space Race: African American Newspapers Respond to Sputnik and Apollo 11 Page: 53
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combined with the televised steps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, was a declaration
that all can see and cannot hide: "America has proven that she will pay for what she
honors and believes in. Look at space; look at Vietnam. . . ." While the Federal
government was authorizing funds and committing its leaders in discussing the nuts and
bolts of what NASA could accomplish; of how Vietnam would be addressed as a
national dilemma, other neglected issues, according to Griffin, revealed for all to see
that "America has proven that she will pay for what she honors and believes in."103
An August editorial in the Sentinel commented on a recent statement apparently
voiced by Vice President Spiro Agnew to the effect that "we need to use the spirit of our
space program to alleviate hunger and suffering" in contrast to simply relying on "space
program funds." The writer acknowledged, "Perhaps we do need the spirit." However,
while this sense of collective optimism about accomplishing goals might solve half of the
problem, "at the same time we need the means with which to right the existing
problems" (italics added).104 The Sentinel also commented on the protest by the SCLC.
In an interesting quantitative analysis, an editorial entitled "Moon Conquests: The
Progress of Man" contrasted the "three men who put their lives on the line" with the "50
or so people who walked a picket line." These protestors had "asked that some of the
money presently being channeled into the space program be diverted to feed some ten
thousands of hungry people" who have neither adequate food nor "comfortable homes
in which to watch the first man on the moon."105
102 Editorial, "Billions For Trip to Moon; Now How About Care for Poor," MICH, July 26, 1969,
section A p. 8.
3 ooker Griffin, "Getting it Together," LAS, July 24, 1969, section B, p. 7.
104 Editorial, "Black Capitalism: An Empty Promise?" LAS, August 7, 1969, section B, p. 6.
los Editorial, "Moon Conquest: The Progress of Man," LAS, July 24, 1969, section B, p. 6.
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Thompson, Mark A. Space Race: African American Newspapers Respond to Sputnik and Apollo 11, thesis, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5115/m1/60/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .