Hidden Figures Reader’s Response

339 words | 2 page(s)

When I first picked up this book, I expected it to be yet another sad and shameful story of how Black people and women have been discriminated against in the workplace not so long ago, even in the most prestigious and respectful organizations like NASA. However, as I got further into the story, it was becoming evident that this is a story of success of the intelligent minds, regardless of their race and gender.

Of course, the path to success and recognition of the main characters was not an easy one, and they encounter numerous injustices along the way. However, the fact that ability, knowledge, and skills end up being more valuable and important for the realization of the project then racial or gender affiliation makes up a powerful argument against the logic underpinning discrimination. In other words, this book highlight just how unproductive and often harmful any discrimination is for the progress of our society. Bringing this argument home appears to be the key theme of the book.

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The book offers a compelling story of three professionals who try to maneuver their professional and personal lives while struggling with overcoming obstacles imposed by the society they live in. Doing a good job offering a holistic account of the main characters’ lives, the author makes it easy to relate to them and see the world through their eyes. In other words, a powerful story allows numerous readers to experience what is it like to live in a society that discriminates against you because of something you have little power of, like race and gender.

This story makes a powerful impact on the readers and helps them adopt an empathetic attitude toward people with different social standing and, most importantly, promotes the feeling of disgust and disapproval of any discriminatory practices. This, good storytelling makes a more powerful argument than any rational speculations.

  • Shetterly, Margot Lee. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2016.

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