More Than Neil deGrasse Tyson: 10 Equally Awesome Black Astrophysicists You Should Know


Dara Norman

She is an astrophysicist who studied at the Univ. of Washington and has worked at the Cerro Tololo Observatory. She works at Kitt Peak National Observatory.


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Dr. Njema J. Frazier

She focuses on nuclear physics. She attended Michigan State University. She works in the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration.

32 Replies to “More Than Neil deGrasse Tyson: 10 Equally Awesome Black Astrophysicists You Should Know”

  1. Dara worked at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, but has since moved to the Kitt Peak National Observatory (one of the locations of the NSF funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory) located in Tucson, AZ where she is a staff astronomer. And is a totally cool person!

  2. This is a very nice article, with only a few errors.

    Dr Beth Brown was a wonderful person inside and out. And she was taken too soon, having departed this earth in 2008.

  3. Also Claudia Alexander worked on the highly publicized Rosetta mission that landed on a comet this year.

    And Jarita Holbrook is working in South Africa.

  4. I absolutely love this post. Granted, Neil Degrasse Tyson is a much respected astrophysicist and his work should be recognized. Yet, there are many other unnamed astrophysicists that should be given recognition, including the ones listed on this post. Thus, I would like to include the following.

    In 1973, three outstanding astrophysicists; Donald Edwards, John McNeil Hunter and Halson V. Eagleson were honored at a special ceremony at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Although retired, two female physicists are Shirley Ann Jackson and Katherine Johnson. Mrs. Jackson had worked at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory located in Batavia, Illinois. Mrs. Johnson had worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Please keep up the good posting. Peace.

  5. Great list! But don't forget Clifford Johnson! You've seen him a bunch on The Universe, Nova, etc. Also, you probably know his blog, 🙂

  6. I love the spirit of the post but the information is a bit inaccurate. Not all on it are astrophysicists and as was pointed out by someone else, Beth (whom I knew since we were undergraduates in the 1980s) passed away in 2008. The article speaks of her "current" work.

    Here is a more complete (but still incomplete) list that was compiled first by me up to 2002 and then added to by Jarita Holbrook. I have not added anyone since 2010. The list is organized as: last name, first name, year of PhD.

    Rouse Carl 1956
    Banks Harvey 1961
    Walker Arthur 1962
    Peery Benjamin 1962
    Carruthers George 1964
    McGruder Charles 1972
    Mallett Ron 1973
    Basri Gibor 1979
    Lindesay James 1980
    Williams Barbara 1981
    Richards Mercedes 1986
    Bates Bernard 1986
    Woodward Charles E. 1987
    Sterling Alphonse 1988
    Strachan Leonard 1990
    Petters Arlie 1991
    Tyson Neil 1991
    Williams Reva K. 1991
    Wilcots Eric 1992
    Damas Chantale 1993
    Alexander Claudia 1993
    O'Neal Ray 1994
    Armando Howard 1994
    Davis Stanley 1995
    Morgan Windsor 1995
    Evans Aaron 1996
    Holbrook Jarita 1997
    Best Jason 1997
    Brown Beth 1998
    Norman Dara 1999
    Oluseyi Hakeem M. 2000
    Alexander Stephon 2000
    Shambrook Anouk 2001
    Strolger Louis 2002
    Garrison David 2002
    McLin Kevin 2003
    Tavarez Maritza 2005
    Johnson John A. 2006
    Ita Eyo Eyo 2008
    Finch Tehani 2008
    Allen Walter 2009
    Venters Tonia 2009
    Lauburg Vanessa 2009
    Nia Imara 2010

  7. Huh?? This is not the best reporting I've ever seen! Nice article but lacking in real information As a proud mother (single parent) I'd like to point out that DR. Dara Norman completed undergrad at M.I.T. Worked at Goddard Space Laboratory on the Hubble Mission. Obtained her Doctorate at University of Washington, and works at C.T.I.O. in Tucson, AZ Thanks Hakeem O. and Jarita H. for the more accurate outline. Better work from Journalism Dept. would be nice!

  8. Also, I would like to add my lovely husband, Dr Louis Strolger who currently works for Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD

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