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African American Woman

Powerful Essays
Ever since the first Africans came to America in 1619, black people have been treated differently than whites. For more than 200 years, African Americans served as slaves who worked for their masters and were often treated cruelly in that they were whipped, beaten, and separated from their families. After slavery was abolished, African Americans still experienced second-class treatment in the form of segregation. During this era, women were also treated unequally in that many people did not believe they could do the same tasks as men. It was difficult being an African American, and it was difficult being a woman, but it was especially difficult being an African American woman, which was the case for Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary…show more content…
After Mary is sent to work on the East Side of Langley with white computers, she needs to use the bathroom. Being in a new area, she does not know where the nearest colored bathroom is. Mary proceeds to ask the white women where her restroom is. “They responded to Mary with giggles. How would they know where to find her restroom? The nearest bathroom was unmarked, which meant it was available to any of the white women and off-limits to the black women. There were certainly colored bathrooms on the East Side, but with most black professionals concentrated on the West Side, and fewer new buildings on the East Side, Mary might need a map to find them. Angry and humiliated, she stormed off to find her restroom” (108). This quote reveals how much of a struggle it is for Mary simply to use the bathroom. She has to put a lot of time and energy into finding a restroom, while white workers get to use the nearest restroom. The quote also explains Mary’s feelings about being treated as less than a human - she is very frustrated and mortified. Little did Mary know, however, that things were about to change for the better. When Kazimierz Czarnecki, assistant section head of the Four-by-Four-Foot Supersonic Pressure Tunnel, greets her, she breaks down and rants about her experience with segregation in the bathrooms. “Whether her outpouring in front of Czarnecki was the spontaneous resresult…show more content…
Mary Jackson’s obstacles and the actions she took to overcome them had a lasting impact on the Civil Rights Movement. Before Mary left NASA, the organization had become fully integrated. Malcolm X, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Mary Jackson’s small but meaningful efforts to improve her life and the lives of other African Americans were her way of preparing for a better future for her race. Now, African Americans have that better future, which she, along with the other black women in Hidden Figures, helped
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