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Presenter Shuts Down Man Who Questioned Why There Were No Black Astronauts

The question came during a discussion on a radio show about the Oscars being boycotted by some African-American actors.

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A man contacted LBC radio to ask why there "were no black people who wanted to be astronauts".

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The question came during a discussion on LBC radio about the Oscars being boycotted by some African-American actors.

In an email to the show's host James O'Brien, Jeff Davis asked:

"What I would like to know is why there are no coloured people clambering to be an astronaut?

"Because there are none, are there. Is it because it is dangerous, perhaps?"


"That’s a really, really good point, Jeff," the radio host responded, before listing many black astronauts who have played an important role in space exploration and technology.

Like Ronald McNair, who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L exploded on launch.

Nasa / Getty Images

Ronald McNair relaxes with his saxophone during the STS 41-B mission on the Challenger shuttle. Zero gravity allowed him to float around while playing his instrument.

Charles Frank Bolden Jr, administrator of NASA.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

NASA administrator Charlie Bolden unveiling Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems Dream Chaser prototype space-access vehicle at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.

Guion Bluford, a mission specialist and veteran of four spaceflights.

Mpi / Getty Images

]Dr Guion S. Bluford Jr, a mission specialist on STS-8, the third flight of the Orbiter Challenger, checks out the sample pump on the continuous flow electrophoresis system on the mid-deck, 1983.

Mae Jemison, a science mission specialist and the first African-American woman to fly in space.

Robert Sullivan / AFP / Getty Images

Mae Jemison prepares to climb out of her T-38 training jet after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center, 9 September 1992.


Winston E. Scott, who completed three spacewalks totalling 19 hours and 26 minutes.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP / Getty Images

Winston Scott waves to well-wishers and family members during a photo opportunity in the perimeter of launch pad 39-B, one day before they and four others are scheduled to blast off into space for a 16-day mission.

Mission specialist Joan Higginbotham.

Matt Stroshane / Getty Images

Joan Higginbotham looks on after arriving at the shuttle landing facility for the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-116 in Florida.

Robert L. Curbeam Jr, a former NASA astronaut who made three space walks.

Nasa / Getty Images

Robert L. Curbeam Jr prepares to replace a faulty TV camera on the exterior of the International Space Station.

US Space Shuttle Discovery mission specialist Stephanie D. Wilson.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Discovery mission specialist Joan Higginbotham is seen on NASA television in the press centre holding a sign that reads "Da Bears" as she is checked in on the Space Shuttle Discovery at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Leland D. Melvin, associate administrator for education at NASA.

Eliot J. Schechter / Getty Images

Space Shuttle Atlantis crew member Leland D. Melvin boards a bus at the operations and checkout building at the Kennedy Space Center.

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at

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