Breyonna Fox, Blogging Intern with My Quest To Teach
My first thought when I finished watching Hidden Figures was, “Wow, they actually did all of those things, they accomplished their goals.” I thought this was very inspirational because back then, it was very hard for other races besides Caucasians, to do the things they wanted and love. In the movie, there is a part when Mary Jackson’s husband even doubts her accomplishing her dreams, showing how unmotivated people were and how many dreams were simply crushed and forgotten.
Then there was Dorothy Vaughn who wanted to be a supervisor for her group of women who are highly skilled with computers. She wanted to move on with her dreams when she realized Katherine and Mary were moving up with theirs. NASA wouldn’t make her a supervisor though, she worked hard and even acted like a supervisor to her group of women. Then one day, she
got a huge offer, but she would only do it if her girls were with her as well. They allowed it. She finally became a supervisor. She is the first African American woman to supervise a staff at the West Area Computers Division. Another part in the movie shows when she took her sons to the library to get some books to help her out with work, they ended up getting kicked out, just because Dorothy needed the book, but the library was whites’ only.
It was upsetting to see how she couldn’t checkout the book and then the security guard pushed her sons out as well. Then when she got on the bus, she still had the book on her and when her sons asked why and she said, she pays taxes and those taxes help the library out. I know Dorothy is a very witty and strong person. She stayed determined in what she believed in and knew she could accomplish her goals, she didn’t leave her girls, she moved them up with her.
Mary Jackson wanted to become an engineer, in the beginning she had doubts about it. She was talking about it with her co-worker and she said how impossible it felt, her co-workers told her she could do it, because they were already doing the impossible. I thought about what she said and how she had hope that Mary could accomplish her goals. It showed me that even when things feel impossible, they aren’t. She even went to court to fight for what she wanted and took night classes at a University, an all-white school! That was amazing. I really loved that part because that filled so much hope in Mary and made her believe more in herself that she could accomplish a lot more things after that. Mary Jackson became the first female African American NASA engineer. Mary is a sassy, brave and determined woman for what she fights for.
Last, but not least was Katherine Goble, she was strongly skilled in mathematics and had an analytical mind. She got a new assignment by Al Harrison, so she had to move to a new part of the company. While she was getting escorted, the woman told her, “you will be the first black person here. Don’t make me regret choosing you. Most people only last a few days, so don’t get used to it.” Then when Katherine first entered, everyone stared at her. Her co-workers were rude towards her. She went to grab some coffee and everyone was staring at her. She immediately felt uncomfortable and sat down and sipped her coffee slowly. After that incident they got a second coffee maker and it said “colored,” she went to use it, it was empty, they were sending a message.
This showed that even though Katherine accomplished her goals, there were still people trying to bring her down. Then she got upset and explained to Harrison how rude everyone was acting towards her and how she never got pearls and how no one wants to use the same coffee maker as her. Prior, she was always in the bathroom and he would ask where she went. Then the next day, he tore down the “whites only” and the “colored” bathroom signs, saying, “no whites or colored, we’re all the same here.” That showed me how Al Harrison really cared about Katherine as an employee and he didn’t care about her skin color. When Katherine got engaged, her co-workers got her a pearl necklace, which was Harrison’s idea too, which she wore to her wedding.
Later in the movie, when John Glenn was going to orbit around the earth, he said he only trusted Katherine with her calculations and with his safety, he knew she was brilliant and he only trusted her, not the computer. He was right too, as he had trouble up in space, but he got back safe.
Katherine played a huge roll in John Glenn’s journey and the Apollo space program landing a man on the moon. In 2015, Katherine received National Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
This movie showed me that anything you set your mind to, you can accomplish. You just have to stay determined and full of courage. This movie was very inspiring and proves to other women and girls that they can do things even when they feel it’s out of their reach.
Submitted & Edited by:
William Jackson, M.Edu.
Edward Waters College