Skip to content

He Should Have Been the First Saxophonist in Space, Instead His Life Was Tragically Cut Short – Learn How Astronaut Ronald McNair Fought Racism at the Age of Nine

  • by

Some of you may not be old enough to remember the Challenger explosion in 1986, and in fact I myself can only faintly remember the images from television news, and that even in my home country of Australia, it was a tragic event of significant impact.

The shuttle disintegrated 73 seconds into its flight, and none of the seven crew members on board survived

One of the heroes on board the shuttle that fateful mission was phyisicist Dr. Ronald McNair, who famously was the second African American in space. McNair was an accomplish saxophonist, and aside from his important mission objectives, hoped to record the first saxophone solo in space.

A well told story surrounding McNair is that of how as a child living in the segregated South Carolina, in order to satisfy his curiosity for science he wandered down to the local library, a segregated library that refused to serve ‘coloreds’, and attempted to check out some books. Upon being refused and threatened with police, McNair, at the tender age of nine, politely declined to leave and instead decided to wait for the cops to come arrest him.

In this video, lovingly retold by McNair’s brother, you can hear the touching finale to this story, and get an insight into the life of a truly brilliant man that was taken from us too soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *