Janelle Monae talks about portraying first black woman to be an engineer at NASA

21 February 2017 Entertainment News

Fourth Estate Staff

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Actress Janelle Monae stopped by “Good Morning America” to talk about what it means to portray the first black woman to be an engineer at NASA, whom she portrayed on “Hidden Figures.”

The woman Monae portrayed, Mary Jackson, was died in 2005. Jackson had to take classes at a then-segregated high school and had to petition a judge in order to be able to attend classes. Jackson then became the first black woman engineer at NASA during the 1950s .

Thirty-one-year-old Monae shared while on “Good Morning America,” “First of all, I'm honored to just honor these women. I had no clue who Mary Jackson was, who Miss. Katherine Johnson was, Dorothy Vaughan or any of the 'colored computers,' as they called us back then. I didn't know these were the women who sent our first American astronauts into space. I mean, these are American heroes.”

Monae continued to say she thinks Jackson was not trying to be the first African-American woman to be an engineer at NASA because the actress believes she only wanted to contribute. Monae also said she thinks race and gender “became a think when someone else made it a thing.”

Monae , together with Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, have received a lot of awards in the past months. “Hidden Figures” focused on the story of a team of first African-American women mathematicians who helped a lot in the launch of John Glenn into space. Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission February 20, 1962. He was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth and a legendary figure in the U.S. space flight program.

The guesting of Monae on “Hidden Figures” was timely as the 55th anniversary of the Friendship 7 mission was recently celebrated.

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