The Old Negro Space Program
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- (Cartson talks) lot of people todaaa..... they don’t think about it.... they say..ooooo they puttin a man on the moon... or oooo they puttin up aaa new space shuttle. But you see, you don’t realize.... way back in da day....bout 57, 58... NASA was whites only. And if youse was black, and youse was a astro-naught, you outta work
(Slow violin slowly moves in)(deep voice) They had names like "Loopie Louey Hayes" "Suitcase Jefferson" and "Stinky Pete Cartson". But even though they lacked technical know-how... they made up for it with courage an zeal...This is a story... of the ooooooll Negro Space Program.
edit How it began
- It started over anything... I guess... it mainly started over a girl. I was makin time wit this sweet lil stuck up thing named Alleda Monroe, who I soon later married. Now, she tol me she couldn’t be wita man who had no job. So I called up my friend, Louey Hayes. And I say.. Louie, where can a Negro getta job? Well Louie said dey filing a new government agency, but...dey wasn’t hiring any Negroes, it was a different time you understand, 1957, or 58.(Violin begins again) (Deep voice dialog) It was a different time, you understand, 1957, or 58. Americans anal affair with racism was in full swing.(Violin ends)
Some people says this never happened......
(Cartson begins talking again)
- Now..dey didn’t say we couldn’t make up our own gig... so I told Alleda I was working for NASSA The Negro American Space Society of Astronaughts. Got laid dat very nite.(Black singers chanting in background) Uniforms stitched by hand, and rockets made from school bus parts, cruel launches made in the back of Kentuckistan fried chickens...but the blackstronaughts pressed on...(Singing ends)
Word spread, by the summer of 1960, they had 250 blackstronaughts. As government fumed, Harlem celebrated, creating hymns such as this one. "Oooo here comes Loopie Louie" Where's he goin Fred?" "Well if I know loopie louie, he’s shoot in up again" Really?"Hes shoot in up again" Don’t tell me" He’s shoot in up again" Aw, shit.
- For a time, it seemed blackstronauts could do no wrong, but with their makeshift rockets and uniforms, they faced greater hardships then their white counterparts. A blackstronaut named Sullivan Caroo wrote home before his death to his wife in Smithfield. "Dear Sarah, the indications are very strong that I shall attempt re-entry tomorrow, and lest I shall not be able to write you again, I feel compelled to write a few lines, that they may fall under your eye when I am no more. It sure is fucking cold up here. Yessir, I about froze my motherfucking nuts off. God damn, space is one cold motherfucker. Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that only omnipotence can break, but, shit, woman, it is cold as fuck up here." Sullivan Caroo died 2 days later, upon reentry. Even so, casualties did not slow down black NASSA as they did white NASA.
edit The Black Blackout
- In 1966, Jefferson and Louie Hayes landed their modified Catolac Coup'd'ville on the moon, just east of the sea of the tranquility. But, little did they know, the government had had enough of NASA and planned a move called the black blackout, which buried them from the mainstream media." When we got home from the moon landing... we expected to be heros....but we were just negros. Dejected and defeated.. the old negro space program officially disbanded.