Questions for: ‘On Being a Black Female Math Whiz During the Space Race’

What was life like for three black female mathematicians working for NASA during the early 1960s?

Comments: 39

  1. My reaction to this story was a combination of surprise and joy. I was surprised that someone had finally taken the initiative to tell this story, but I was also felt joy because more women's history and African American history was being revealed. I was pleased to see that this story became popular and that it let people know that there is more to history than we think. This story will empower young girls and show them that there is no limit to what they can achieve. Another story that also shows the work of women in the past is portrayed in the Hamilton musical. The musical shows Angelica Schuyler and her efforts for gender equality.

  2. I like your idea--let's tell the story of the women founders of our country!

  3. Personally I felt excited and proud to know that these women contributed greatly to some of NASA's most historical events. I was especially overwhelmed by how popular this story became in such a small amount of time. This is a great example of what it means to live in america in 2017.

    One story I believe not many people know about is the women who fought in the air force during World War II. Many of these women are the reason a lot of our soldiers survived the war. Many people do not know this story because during the time women were seen as objects or property and not as people who can make a difference in our country and world.

  4. My reaction to this story was first surprised that African-American women worked in NASAA one and two liked their job. I think that this book and film came at a great time where in the world there is unrest and division between the two races and this movie/book can help you see it through the lives of African-American women. I think that more stories should come out that we don't know about not just about African-American women,but men too. Maybe we could look more into MLK and the 28-29 times he was jailed and what was going on during that time

  5. I think that this is an incredible story, and that it is a very important subject/ story that everyone needs to know about. I also think that it's theme of woman empowerment is very important to today's society.
    I think that the story of Joan of Arc needs to be told more because she overcame many challenges, such as sexism, etc. She was also a strong leader/ warrior, and she fought for what she believed in.

  6. It is amazing how women who did stand up, were demolished and buried in history, but it also really cool that we are learning about this, and not just disregarding these women.

    Nathalia Holt wrote “The Rise of the Rocket Girls” which is about women working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1940's and 1950's

  7. I think the hidden figures should have never been hidden. They should have been acknowledged at the exact same time that the white men were acknowledged, considering they basically did all of the work behind the scenes in order to get America to the moon. (Writing and solving equations to calculate trajectory so they could make it to the moon.)

  8. I was quite excited to hear this kind of minority story from this specific time period. I mean, sure, you hear about black achievements all the time in the news today, and we know about celebrities such as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr., but you never hear about the middle class minorities during this time period. I think this really helps us get better perspective on how fortunate we are to have been born in our generation, where racism is hardly as big a big hindrance as it used to be. Little by little, you can see us overcoming racism more and more. For example, the 20th of January marks the end of our first black president. Not only did he overcome prejudice, he did it twice in a row. I really think that our generation could use more stories of these obscure victories, though. A woman being hired for a traditionally all-male job. A black man being promoted to manager. These things happen all around us, and should be acknowledged more. I really think the story of Hidden Figures is helping us reach that point.

  9. 1) well this story really makes me think about what Martin Luther King did because i feel like the movie is going to show us how people wouldn't care so much about the woman not just because they were woman but because they are african american woman and just thinking about that is sad and since Martin Luther Kings day was yesterday i kinda tide it with that.

    2)I feel like the story Gabby Douglas should be told because she had to go through a lot to be able to make it to the olympics and some of those struggles came from the fact that she was african american and her mom wasn't rich like all the other kids.

  10. My reaction to the story that honors the previously hidden part of American history is amazement. Coming from this, I wonder, why wasn't this known? I don't think that the fact of these women were found in our history books. I think that some of the stories that need to be told are the stories of the many Civil War nurses that helped with their fellow countrymen. I also think that the story of Sybil Ludington needs to be told as well.

  11. My reaction is both excited and shocked, I was very happy that new influential women were going to be heard about, but I was shocked that it took us ( the people) a long time before even hearing about these women.

    One story I can think is the female night rider Sybil Luddington, now everyone is used to having Paul Revere as the only night rider who helped his people by saying when the British are coming, but not everyone knows about the female rider who also made a difference to her town. I think since Paul Revere is so known, not man teachers really tell students about the female rider, but it is something everyone should know. That it wasn't just a man helping people but also a women who helped people too.

  12. I think that these women deserve to be honored for outstanding work and abilities. Also I think that the author that chose to write this story had a great idea to share and honor these hidden figures. Most stories that come to mind are probably people like Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman.

  13. When I first found out about Hidden Figures I was shocked that their story was just now coming out. I was also amazed because the Space Race was such a Huge part of history.

  14. 1. I feel like there are so many untold things about women that no one knows yet, and it could highly impact women's history. Also, in honor of all women who have became successful i think it's very important to honor how they overcame many things to be where they are.

  15. The first time I saw the trailer to “Hidden Figures", I immediately thought to myself "It's about time!," because still even today society struggles with diversion, though colored women are a lot more accepted now than they were before. That does not change the fact that some people walk into a room and are immediately thought of a certain way because of their appearance.

  16. I think that racism, segregation, and sexism is wrong. I believe that the women should be honored for what they did as standing up for their rights as women, and they deserve to have a book written about them.
    Other stories that make me think of this one are Rosa Parks because she stood up for herself and knew her own rights as a Black woman.

  17. This story is really inspiring because it teaches everyone to follow their dreams no matter what anybody else says. These women were looked down upon because they were doing a "mans job" but they were persistent and proved everyone else wrong. I think Joan of Arc story should be known more because she was a peasant who believed that God wanted her to lead France into war dressed like a man to go into war because women couldn't. She never gave in even when she was threatened to say everything she believed in was a lie.

  18. I think it is very good they they are showing this untold story. It might even have more impact now than it did years ago. Society has changed and I believe we can fully accept this story now and really reflect on it. I know a few stories but not many that have not been told. With the age of media we have now I believe it is now easier than ever to tell stories because of how fast things can come out and how easier they are shared online.

  19. I really love that this story has finally been made into such an amazing and inspiring film during a time that everyone needs a lift support and a reminder of how our history came to be. The three women who worked at NASA essentially paved the way for all the young girls who are striving to be who they truly are today. One story I am able to recall is when Gabby Douglas was chosen to represent the U.S. during the Olympics. Knowing that she was both an African American and a female, she inspired many young girls like her to work with passion and commit to what you truly aim for in life.

  20. I'm really glad the story got told. It makes me wonder if there are other stories that haven't been told. It also makes me wonder about if we went back to that time. Historians find artifacts that completely obliterate their idea of what the past was like. We know so much while at the same time not knowing anything. I hope that somehow we can find other stories that change the way we perceive the past. It brings an interesting insight on what it was like back then.

  21. I think the story gives well deserved credit to those who at the time had gotten none and I think it is a very inspirational story. I think they need to tell the stories of popular nurses or maybe even women soldiers during the civil war, like the spy Lydia Darragh.

  22. Im glad that the story came out because now young women have more female role models to look up to. These women were victims or racism and sexism, yet they still continued woking in that critical environment because they knew they were smart enough to do the job and they weren't going to let anyone tell them otherwise. Young women should know that being smart is nothing to be ashamed of and that they should pursue their dreams no matter what anyone else says.

  23. I think the book gives long deserved credit to those who at that time were not even appreciated and that makes it a really inspirational story. I think we need to recognize the women of the civil war for examples nurses or spies like Lydia Darragh.

  24. I feel very proud to be an African American female because of these four women and their accomplishments and successes. These women were not recognized for their hard work because people in Virginia in 1961 didn't care about how hard they worked to get that far in your career to be helping the first man to orbit the Earth. Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman to be elected into United States Congress in 1968. She not only was a woman in a field with majority men but also an African American. One of her famous quotes is, "In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing -- anti-humanism."

  25. I think more "hidden" stories like this should be brought to the public's attention. This story was extremely encouraging for any and all facing challenges in their careers or education due to their race, color, gender ect. No one should be limited of their potential, and I think this story is proof of what the underdog can do.

  26. I have mixed feelings about this story. On one hand, I am disappointed and a bit angry that this story had not been told sooner. These women played an instrumental role in such a significant time in our history during a period where they faced obstacles not only because of their gender, but because of their race. On the other hand, I am excited to further delve into this story because in addition to all of what had just been stated, these women still thrived in an environment that put that smothered their success and they did it in a respectful and unprideful manner.
    To answer the other question, recently I just completed the book Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It's about a time in history where people had put in all of their resources into defeating Germany in World War ll and freeing the Jews, that they had forgotten to look at a country that was considered "one of the good guys". This book tells the story of a time where Russia had taken it's annexed neighbors and put them into concentration camps. Those who were put in concentration camps, were obviously treated extremely unfairly and still they had the courage to grow and help others in a time where surviving yourself was a feat. When freed, They had the courage to tell their story even though, if caught, they would have been punished. In addition, this story highlights the few Russians who decided to help those in the concentration camps, and therefore went against many officials and the norms of the time.

  27. I believe that this movie is very encouraging to women and girls, since they persevered through the hardest time so far for women. They are making a change in the world and everyone told them they couldn't do it, since they were a person of color and since they were a woman. They are all incredibly smart, and they get pushed down because something they can't control. It's insane and upsetting. I think they should tell more stories about couples who are interracial. They don't tell a lot of stories that are like that.

  28. This story amazes me that these women were able to overcome all of the obstacles that were put in their path. I never knew a lot about this, and now that I do, their story inspires me so much. I'm really happy that they have a book and movie about them, because I think they definitely deserve it! Some other stories that I think of are the story of Ruby Bridges, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. They are all inspiring woman who had to overcome challenges.

  29. After reading this story I wasn't surprised that women worked in the space program. Since I want to work in the space program I never really thought about not being able to. There are many things that are "hidden" but I don't think people are literally hiding things from the world, if you don't know about something you can learn about it and I suppose not knowing about it before would make it "hidden". There may be things that people are hiding but just because someone learned about it doesn't mean it was hidden from us, we just didn't know about it at the time. I think this story gives me courage and makes me more confident about working in the space program. Some stories that might need to be told are the stories of people who have done great things but are not as known of as celebrities even if they have done something greater, smarter, or kinder.

  30. I think this story is really powerful and inspiring because it's about three women who followed their dreams and didn't let what other people thought change what they wanted to do. Because of the time period I think this story is really important because women didn't do "man's jobs", and because of these three women I think young girls will be inspired to follow their dreams.

  31. In my opinion, I think this story was very inspirational because these women were being looked down but they stood up and showed women empowerment. This encourage others to have faith to achieve your goals.
    A story like Rosa Parks is similar because she was being told all the time because she was a black women, but she stood up and represented herself of not letting racism put her down. Another story like Joan of Arc because she was being faced with challenges but she represented herself as a warrior and fought for what she believed.

  32. I thought that this should have been made sooner. It's the first time I have seen so many influential African-American actresses on a movie cover, playing roles that aren't slaves. I wish this story would have been told sooner, because it's an inspiration to many young girls who feel that they might be held back from being able to be in their desired career because of their race or gender. I feel like more stories of influential women need to be told. People who have really impacted the world and broken stereotypes. We learned about CIvil War spies in social studies, and I think it would be nice to have those stories become more popular. There were many women from history that have helped us alongside their male counterparts.

  33. It's inspiring that Margot Lee Shetterly decided to research, and write this story. These people deserve to get just as much credit as everyone else got. Another story that I can think of is Sybil Luddington. She is often overlooked when we think of Paul Revere's famous ride to warn the minutemen of British invasion. Although he helped Sybil Luddington rode much farther.

  34. When I first heard about his movie and about the story I was glad that they were sharing the unknown about one of the most important parts of American History. I am very excited to see the movie and learn about more important women that have helped pave the way. I believe that the story of Mae Jemison needs to be heard a little louder than it is already because she was the first ever African American women to ever set foot in space and I think that that is a pretty great milestone that everyone needs to know about.

  35. I think that this story is something that should have been shared years ago. Everyone knows who Rosa Parks is for the most part as they should because she stood up (literally) for people of color's rights. This event happened not to far apart from what happened with Rosa Parks which is why I am confused as to why nobody had ever mentioned it until now! Besides that I believe that this is an amazing story that is portrayed in the characters truthfully, just from watching trailers you can tell that they enjoyed filming and acting as these characters. I would consider it to be an honor to play as those roles! I think that they need much more recognition because the Space Race is such a grand part of history.

  36. I really enjoy seeing stories like this because it shows and proves that women are more than what meets the eye. Women and men aren't much different. They can do about the same things. I really like MLK stories and Ruby Bridges stories. They are really inspiring and they are well-known and appreciated. I never really knew a story about sexism so I am glad one is out now!

  37. My reaction to this story would be that of great respect and honor. I think it is important to honor and look up to the woman who brought us down a path that many would have never thought to travel. In the age that we live in, it is not so strange for woman to be striving for a man's job and for people to be acting out and differently and it is all because of the foundation built for us. Without the help of the people who brought forth the idea of change and the ability to make your place in the world I think we would still live in a situation where people could not be accepted for who they are or who they want to be.

    It is amazing to see these stories of amazing woman who took a step forward and decided to make a difference, but it also seems to reflect the advancement of society and the lack of acceptance that we still have today.

    I believe that the state of human minds will forever be too weak to accept everyone for the role they play in the life and the decisions of the past but I hope that in the future there will be a time where everyone is as equal as possible and there will be no verbal hate. There is no way to stop the thoughts of people but I believe there is a chance to make them not think negatively.

  38. This story is very empowering and shows the importance of doing what you know is right and that will benefit future and present generations in a positive way. I believe he story of Sojourner Truth should be spread more and brought up to the surface more because she was courageous and brave despite her restrictions and life situation.

  39. This story to me is a story i would want to keep in my memory during my a=hard times. Just knowing that 3 African-Americans changed the way some people viewed them is really inspiring to me. They took a mans job, and turned it into a women's job. One story that comes to mind is Rosa Parks. This is because she stayed strong during the hard times she faced. To me, Rosa Parks is just like the three women in Hidden Figures.