Taraji P. Henson to Portray Human Computer Katherine Johnson in New Film

Henson’s performance will mark one of the few representations of black female scientists in film.

Katherine Johnson and President Obama

Amber Johnson

Feature Writer at RYSE
Amber Johnson is an aspiring filmmaker, human rights activist, freelance writer and avid day dreamer. She looks forward to a world without injustice, poverty and bad hair days.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays the lovably fierce Cookie Lyon on Empire, will be exchanging her glamorous furs for a NASA jacket to play mathematical genius and physicist Katherine G. Johnson on the big screen in Hidden Figures.


The film is based off of Margot Lee Shetterly’s novel, “Hidden Figures: The Story of African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, slated for publication in fall of next year. It chronicles the stories of the “computers in skirts,” African American women who were recruited by NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory for Aeronautics, to make calculations in celestial navigation.


Come January 13th 2016 St. Vincent director Ted Melfi, along with producers Peter Chernin and Jenno Toppings, will be bringing attention to one of the most underrated stories in history; how three black women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson launched John Glenn, the first man to orbit the earth into space in 1962, and got him back in one piece.


Henderson’s performance will mark one of the few representations of black female scientists in film–a disturbing reality that extends from our suppression of women and people of color ‘s contributions to history.

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