Just like the cop in the trailer for Hidden Figures has no idea that a place like NASA would hire black women in the 1960s, most Americans are oblivious to this part of NASA’s history today. In fact, the New York Times reports that when Octavia Spencer first read the script, she thought it was fiction — too good to be true.Was Mary Jackson the first black female aeronautical engineer?
According to NASA, Mary Jackson "may have been the only black female aeronautical engineer in the field" in the 1950s. Singer and actress Janelle Monáe plays her in the film Hidden Figures . According to NASA, Mary Jackson "may have been the only black female aeronautical engineer in the field" in the 1950s.Who was the first black supervisor at NASA?
Dorothy Vaughn began at NASA in 1943, first year they started hiring black women as mathematicians, and became the first black supervisor in the history of NASA. "We rely on electronic computers for everything we do today," said Shetterly. "Back then, the engineers relied on these women."Did NASA hire the first black women mathematicians?
In 1962, a group of black women engineers at NASA computed the math to send astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Yes, that's right: NASA. Black women mathematicians. 1962. They had been hired in 1943.