WATCH: Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer Play Barrier-Shattering NASA Women In “Hidden Figures”

Janelle Monáe, left, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures,” which is slated for release in January. (Credit Hopper Stone/20th Century Fox)
Janelle Monáe, left, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures,” which is slated for release in January. (Credit Hopper Stone/20th Century Fox)

Established in 1958, NASA was birthed during a decade rife with racial tension, division and oppression of women.

But during the early days of the space program, resilient African-American women were breaking barriers—something actress Taraji P. Henson shows in Hidden Figures.

The new film, which also stars Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, focuses on the stories of three women — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — who worked for NASA during the agency’s formidable years. Most notable among the three is Johnson, a brilliant mathematician whose brilliant number crunching helped Nasa big time.

She is played by Henson.

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in  this group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history.

Based on the unbelievably true-life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers,” we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return.

These ladies crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

SOURCE: EEW Magazine