In school we learned all about how man went to space, then went to the moon, we learned the years, the names of the astronauts, but we didn’t learn about the people behind all of that, just that it was people at NASA. But we didn’t hear about the group of African American women who were mathematicians at NASA.
The first American to orbit the earth, was John Glenn in 1962; during that time the United States was going through racism and women were still not being treated equally. At the moment that this happened it would be no shock there is no mention in any history book about the work African American women did in the space program. It is sad that we didn’t learn about this until 2017.
The movie, Hidden Figures, tells the story of the work of the women in NASA who helped send John Glenn to space to orbit earth. Here they show three women; Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. Katherine, was a genius mathematician and the third African American to earn a PhD in mathematics. She did the trajectory analysis for Friendship 7, America’s first human spaceflight. In 1962, when she prepared John Glenn’s orbital mission, he personally asked for her to check the numbers for his mission after they thought the computer (a huge IBM) made a mistake.
Dorothy Vaughn was the supervisor for the West Area Computing, where colored women worked separate from white women as mathematicians (they were referred to as computers).
Mary Jackson became an aeronautical engineer in the 1950s, at a time when women engineers where a rare thing, much less aeronautical engineers.
It is hard to believe that this actually happened, that women were treated that way and more than that, women of color, but they fought that, winning their respect and the right to work and earn respect for their work. This story made me very proud to be a woman. I couldn’t stop smiling every time I saw them succeed and showed men they were smarter.
This is a story that we should have learned at school, in books, in history class; not just learn the names of the men who went to space, but the people who got them up there. This shows girls that women can do anything men can do. It was about time the world knew this story. Everyone should see this movie and with the Oscars coming up, Hidden Figures definitely deserves Best Movie. I think it deserves more awards than La La Land, which was a good movie, I had a lot of fun and I really liked it, but Hidden Figures is a great true story, an important part of history which has been ignored, and really shouldn’t be. Hidden Figures deserves the award for Best Movie.