How Hidden Figures Changed My Life and Perspective on America

Anyone who is exalting the excellent movie “Hidden Figures” should probably do what I did. Shake your own family tree to discover if you have an interesting piece of American history hiding in plain view in your own family. Influenced by hype for the movie’s release, I finally talked to my Aunt Zita about her experiences as a real, live, African-American, woman, engineer for NASA. The only other thing I knew about her career at NASA is that my father used to joke that she was like Tommy from Martin, claiming “you don’t have a job.” Learning how far that was from the truth has changed an important perspective I’ve held on the progress of America.