Hidden Figures


Margot Lee Shetterly

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Hidden Figures: Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

It’s 1963 and the Civil Rights movement continues. Project Mercury concludes in a twenty–two orbit flight. A. Phillip Randolph works with Martin Luther King, Jr. to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez all perform. King addresses the crowd and gives his “I Have a Dream” speech. Dorothy Vaughan completes twenty years of service to the Federal Government.
Dorothy, in her 20 years, has seen a major shift in the work done at Langley while watching the move towards equal rights progress much more slowly. Just as the nation gathered around the space race, activists and artists have come together to help in the fight for equality, which will shape the nation’s image of itself no less than NASA.
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Langley looks to hire more talented African-Americans. Mary Jackson and the others help make sure new black employees feel welcome. In 1967, Christine Mann takes a job at Langley and meets Katherine Johnson. Katherine continues to be very active in community service. She also continues to work on spaceflight, grieving in 1967 when an electrical fire aboard the Apollo 1 leads to the deaths of three astronauts. She and the other engineers at Langley dream of going to the moon. Katherine works hard to make this dream a reality.
Christine Mann’s entry into Langley also points to a new beginning, one that Mary, Katherine, and Dorothy all made possible by forging a path for black women to work in the computing pool and rise to become engineers and scientists. Langley’s ambitions continue to grow—just because a new story has begun doesn’t meant that Katherine’s story is over, only that it’s continuing.
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