The Hidden Figures Within Us All

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Freshman Brandon Travisano reading the book that inspired the movie.

Haley Travisano ’18
EE Staff Writer

“Here at NASA, we all pee the same color!” said Al Harrison, the lead supervisor in the John Glenn launch.

The movie, Hidden Figures, tells the historic story of three African American women who changed the face of NASA in 1961 by creating their own launch, while overcoming racisim and sexism in 127 minutes.

The movie highlights three women: Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), who all worked in the division of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Katherine was the brain of the group and worked with the calculations of the John Glenn launch. Dorothy was the unofficial supervisor of the African-American women and, lastly, Mary was an aspiring engineer.

This movie was based on the nonfiction book originally written by Margot Lee Shetterly in 2016.

“It really opened my eyes and helped me realize the importance of women in NASA operations,” said Maya Barbieri, a junior at Amity High School. This movie offered an insight of operations during the Space race in 1961.

One character, Katherine, was seemingly the underdog of the movie and it highlights her rise to the top. She proves to all of the white men that she is capable of doing anything. She also demonstrates that her brain was essential to the United States.

“I watched this movie with my little sister and right after it was over she said ‘I wanna be an astronaut too!’” said junior Darby Smith. Katherine’s perseverance shows all women and young girls that they can do anything a man can, and to never give up on their hopes and dreams. Katherine is a figurehead that all can look up to.

The actors did a phenomenal job obtaining and portraying their roles. The three main women thoroughly portrayed how life was as an African American woman in the 60’s. The supporting roles of the white men portrayed the hierarchy that men were upheld upon.

This movie is purely uplifting and monumental, “It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I never knew what was going to happen!” said Ludlowe senior Sheli Goldstein.

This movie and message is truly one of a kind. It proves that America is no longer undefined; it is unified and strong. I give this move 5/5 stars, and it was an inspiration to watch. It is something I would definitely view again, and it has taught me that I can be the change in the world.

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