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Monday, January 30, 2017

Hidden Figures

The space race.  The civil rights movement.  Two major forces of change in the 1960's.  And they come together in Hidden Figures.

So of course two history buffs had to see it.

I had never known that there were female African-American mathematicians working for NASA in the early days.  Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn were true pioneers.

Of course the movie has a moral.  The women endure discrimination and disrespect as they perform functions vital to the success of the American space effort.  They break down barriers and change attitudes.

My favorite scenes are the ones with John Glenn interacting with Katherine. While others at NASA see the women as "colored computers", he sees Katherine as a smart, reliable, intelligent mathematician.

There's a message here, about accepting each of us as equals, about working for a common goal as Americans.  A lesson for our times.

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