ArtsATL

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Janelle Monae

Tangible Heroes: Janelle Monáe discusses “Hidden Figures” and real-life role models

Mary Jackson lowers her eyes, though only for a second. “If you were a white male,” a higher-up asked her, “would you wish to become an engineer?” It is the year 1961. Every NASA employee stationed at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia must help achieve do the impossible: launching the first American into orbit around Earth. But at this moment, as a Black female mathematician of the Civil Rights Era, Jackson must imagine a world where she never dealt with racism or sexism. “I wouldn't have to,” Jackson says. “I'd already be one.”...