‘Black in Space’: The Cold War-era race to diversify space


Director Laurens Grant visited OMSI to talk about the new documentary

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new documentary highlights the struggle black astronauts faced to be included in the space program.

“Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier” reveals the race between the United States and the Soviet Union to get a black astronaut into space during the Cold War. The story is told by the astronauts and their families.

Laurens Grant, the director of “Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier” at OMSI, Feb. 18, 2020. (KOIN)

The director of the film, Laurens Grant, visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for a Q&A moderated by KOIN 6 News’ Dan Tilkin.

Grant talked about how the Soviet Union used racial strife in the U.S. during the 1960s, 70s and early 80s.

“They saw with every racial infraction the Soviet Union was there to stick our eye in it, like ‘Oh really, you’re the best nation in the world? Look at how you treat your own citizens,'” Grant said.

“Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier” premieres Monday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. PST on the Smithsonian Channel.

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