A spotlight on the three black women who did the math that put Americans in space, Hidden Figures tackles race, equity, opportunity, and acceptance in eerily resonant ways.
Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are three women whose names everyone should know. The three African-American NASA mathematicians were instrumental in sending John Glenn into space. But, as is the case with women and people of color, the trio’s integral role in the pioneering mission was all but erased from history.
Fifty years later, at a time when those demographics still are unseen and undervalued, that Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson are finally having their stories told and contributions celebrated isn’t just lovely, it is crucial. And that it’s happening in a film as crowd-pleasing as Hidden Figures is even more important.