What Are Gender Roles In Dorothy Vaughan's Hidden Figures

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Hidden Figures is a nonfiction novel authored by Margot Lee Shetterly focused on three women who had a very large, but unknown influence in getting the United States into space to win the Space Race and Cold War in the mid-1900s. Shetterly focuses on the lives of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson, who worked in Hampton, Virginia in NASA, with various roles requiring high level education. Until I read this book, I had no idea that anyone of Black race could have such occupations while segregation was still strong. The work of these women that helped the country, and the manner in which they kept doing the work despite not being recognized, is unbelievable, and inspirational. The emphasis of African American Women in this time in highly …show more content…

It is astounding that she focused on that career with computers and still focused on securing childcare arrangements and getting her family into the middle class. In Southern America before the Civil Rights Movement, middle class African American families were very rare, and Vaughan fought to improve the economic status of her family, as well as those of her co-workers. What is awe-inspiring is that even while she had to work in the segregated computer area of the laboratory, Vaughan was still willing to help her Caucasian co-workers get promotions. Also, she was the first African American supervisor of NACA, which stands for The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and took leadership in helping to teach the new computer system used when NACA transitioned into NASA. She was one that people looked to for help with the toughest projects. Though computers are not my strong point, I see myself in parallel with Dorothy Vaughan in that I give my best effort to do things before people ask me to do them, and strive to become an expert in specific tasks rather than learn a little bit of

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