TAS’s Girl Up Club, a UN-affiliated club dedicated to empowerment, showed the movie “Hidden Figures” today at 5:30 p.m. in the Middle School Library. Based on a true story, “Hidden Figures” details the overlooked but important contributions of three African-American women to the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, who was the first American to orbit the earth. These three women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, struggle to achieve greater heights in their careers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) because of  prejudices against not only their race, but gender too.

Before the movie was shown, Girl Up president Janice Yang (‘18) says that Girl Up selected this movie because of “the idea that women who are minorities can have such a big impact on STEM fields.” She says, “It’s really powerful because it’s a true story that many of us haven’t heard of.”

The turnout of around 20 attendees filled up the library. Reflecting upon the movie and his favorite moment, Peter Chiu (‘19) mentions the ending scene. John Glenn lands successfully after NASA decides to finally overcome its racial and gender prejudices to trust Katherine Johnson’s mathematical skill and allows her to help with the landing coordinates. Peter says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

Andrew Xu (‘20) also says his favorite moment is the ending. He says, “It’s great when people get recognized for the work they did, and it was really cool when she was right.” Another attendee, Chloe Wang (‘23) says the moment when Mary Jackson finally got a voice in court to fight for her right to attend classes at a high school stood out to her, because it was impressive that “she became the first black woman [who] went to a white segregated school.” Both middle schoolers and high schoolers who attended the movie session had a good time, while gaining greater insight about historical contributions of African-American women.

 

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