Michelle Obama On ‘Hidden Figures’: “They Wanted Us Hidden. But Look At Us Now”

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(photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov)

President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a private screening of the upcoming film, “Hidden Figures,” the true story of the first Black women who were instrumental in getting the first men on the moon. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the untapped talented group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history: the first shuttle trip to the moon.

Based on the unbelievably true-life stories of three women, known as “human computers,”Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson. 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. crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and firmly cemented them into U.S. history as true American heroes.

At the screening were current NASA astronauts, employees, directors, producers and young women from a local high school that were invited to attend.

In her remarks to the group, the First Lady spoke directly to the young women.

“As you move forward in life… make sure there is diversity at the table,” instructs the First Lady. “Make sure the conversation is diverse. When we pull together…and when we bring all of that to the table, anything is possible. Even going to the moon. That is how America won the race to the moon.”

“If you take anything from us being here in the White House for the last eight years, I want you to take one thing: It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter how much money your parents have… What matters is that you believe in your own potential. You have to believe in you first.”

“As Katherine Johnson said, ‘Stick with it no matter the problem. It can be solved.’ And that’s great advice. Just look at these past eight years. We were supposed to be hidden. People didn’t even want to believe that we were real. But here we are, eight years later. Look at us now”

“That’s how we got here as a country. We got here on the backs of those hidden figures. And we must never forget.”

Full White House Video below: