Celebrated children’s author Dr. Doresa A. Jennings announces a Kickstarter campaign to support the second volume of her STEAM Chasers series. The Blackness of Space follows 2019’s We Made That, which launched the series on the strength of its own successful Kickstarter campaign.
The series follows the science-fueled adventures of six tweens, along the way describing the rich history of contributions made by Black Americans to science and engineering. The second volume finds the team at the US Space & Rocket Center’s Space Camp, where they discover the history of multiple-stage rocketry (made possible by Sergeant Adolphus Samms) and the pioneering work of Dr. Patricia Cowings, whose research into the physiology of space travel makes it possible for astronauts to work productively in space. In all, readers are introduced to over twenty Black Americans that contributed to areas such as human space exploration and aerospace engineering.
The book’s setting and theme came naturally to Dr. Jennings.
“I’m a former NASA employee, and I live close to Space Camp, so there was no real question of setting one of the STEAM Chasers books here. It certainly helps that so many Black Americans have made such crucial advances in space travel and astrophysics. But it’s also been a lot of fun to write. Put six tweens in a simulated spacecraft, and some of the funnier scenes almost write themselves.
The setting also dovetailed nicely with a storyline I’d always planned to develop, around Ebony’s dyslexia.”
Ebony is one of the series’ vividly drawn protagonists. The first book introduced her as a sometimes-dreamy tween whose interests in astronomy and space exploration often kept her head in the clouds (and beyond). In The Blackness of Space, readers learn of Ebony’s struggles with dyslexia and her ingenious ways of accommodating her condition. It’s a heartening message for dyslexic readers and a vivid reminder that our differences deserve to be celebrated.
The Kickstarter campaign runs through December 31, and includes rewards ranging from recognition on the STEAM Chasers website to donations of complete STEAM Chasers kits to schools and libraries. To learn more, please visit
, or contact Dr. Jennings at 770-315-9757 or [email protected]