At last, credit where credit is due

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly

It has been a really long road for women, black women in particular, to get to where we are today. Don't try to argue and fight with me over this, either, it's written in enough history books just how much discrimination there was (and still is) on the basis of gender/sex, race, ethnicity, and nationality. Remember, just because there's a rule against it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 

Hidden Figures was, for me, an exhilarating account of Civil Rights, feminism, and aeronautics, flight, space, engineering, and mathematical history all rolled into one neat little ball and tossed into the world, only for Hollywood to come along and royally screw it up with a movie. Don't get me wrong, the movie is really, REALLY fantastic and I adored it, but history is nothing like the movie. It never is.

 

I felt so much anger and pain for the women mentioned in the book, as well as those unnamed hundreds implied, throughout the course of my reading. The brick walls they faced in the forms of discrimination, segregation, and simply being a woman and thus thought of as somehow less capable - despite the job performance reviews and outcomes of their work clearly demonstrating otherwise - were beyond aggravating. To know that performing to a higher level than some of the men would result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist for trying to be more involved is to experience empathy for those who had to go above and far, far beyond in order to accomplish anything.

 

We still have a long ways to go as a society, but this book does a good job of demonstrating how far we have already come. It's time we band together and try to go the rest of the way.