Chapter 2: Mobilization
Meaning of the title; means that there was need to mobilize military men and women who came to camp Pickett at the Port of Embarkation in Newport News. Dorothy Vaughn was one of the women who applied for a job at the Langley where the soldiers gathered ready for the training that was about to take place.
Plot Summary; in this chapter, women who got an opportunity to get into the military left their jobs as domestic servants or stemmers in the tobacco factories (Lee, 2017). Dorothy was one the women who applied for the job at Langley. In 1943, she took the opportunity which would help her earn an extra income during school break. The chapter explains how Dorothy used to motivate the negro race and give them hope of a better future in America.
Events; soldiers came to camp Pickett for a four weeks training. The laundry room doubles up as a microcosm of the war and the wars obscure crannies. Women who found their way to the military leave their jobs as domestic servers. Dorothy works as a mathematics teacher and was in a position that most Negro women would hope to achieve. She jumps at an opportunity to earn extra income at the training camp.
Chapter 3: Past is Prologue
Title meaning; what the Negro women are likely to do now and in the future will be shaped but what happened to them in the past. Therefore, the past events determine the actions of the women at the first. They are fighting for their space in the American country where black people are discriminated and the suffering they have been through will shape their course of actions.
Plot summary; Dorothy gets a job at Langley. She is paid a higher salary than what she has been getting from her teaching job. Coleman, a man who was a friend to both Dorothy and her husband had a daughter known as Katherine (Lee, 2017). The daughter applies for a job at Langley and is employed.
Events; Dorothy applies for a job at Langley and get it. She makes the decision to move to the new job and leave the teaching job. Katherine also gets a job at the same town. Negros steps up the fight against discrimination.
Chapter 4: The double V
Title meaning; the title refers to a campaign that was being conducted during World War II and was targeted at the black Americans. The main objective of this campaign was to eradicate racism in the United States of America as well as in countries outside the U. S. The title focuses depicts focuses on the fight against discrimination against the Negro women.
Plot Summary; Dorothy moved to Newport News. This is an area that was experiencing tremendous growth in terms of population as a result of the many people who were moving there to work (Lee, 2017). There were numerous conflicts between races since the means of transport were becoming a problem owing to the high number of people moving to the town. The chapter highlights how the black soldiers were victims of racial related violence. They were being harassed by the Americans who felt that the black people are intruding their freedom. Negros were being forced to fight for the rights of Jews yet they were not receiving equal rights. This further increases the level of race based violence.
Events; Dorothy Vaughan moves to the new town to work. Newport News becomes increasingly populated as more people move to work there. Much of the work in the town is done by women and therefore the town has a high population of women. The population is said to increase from 393,000 in the year 1940 to 576,000 in the year 1942. The military personal also increase significantly. Dorothy officially starts work at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
Chapter 5: Manifest Destiny
Title meaning; this is a doctrine in the 19th century that the US was inevitably going to expand throughout the continent. The expansion was also justified. The chapter therefore focuses on the expansion of the US, with regard to the African Americans.
Plot Summary; discrimination is further manifested in this chapter. Dorothy starts to work at her new job. They are working in an organization West Computing located at Langley. This organization was a black women computers division (Lee, 2017). The level of segregation in this chapter is shown at the eating table. The tables for black women is marked colored computers. At the end of the chapter, the black women are trying to fight against segregation. Miriam Mann hid the marked sign. The management looked for it in vain until it gave up and it finally stopped labeling the table.
Events; Dorothy commences work at the new job. The organization known as West Computing has many black women. They are being treated in discrimination by the Americans. The management gives up marking the table where black women were eating after they hid the sign.
Chapter 6: War Birds
Title Meaning; war bird is an aircraft that is used by the military as well as civilians in a war. War birds were used in the World War II and have also been used by other historic arms in the military.
Plot Summary; the chapter begins with black soldiers piloting an aircraft known as Mustang airplane. One of the duties that Dorothy is supposed to execute is identifying the weaknesses of Mustang as well as strengths. The employees are banned from discussing job related matters outside the lab. NACA is committed towards improving the planes to make them better (Lee, 2017). The black females working at the West Computing should work to help in discovering the weaknesses so that they can be improved. They are also responsible for the computations using raw data that has been extracted from the tests being done on the war birds. However, due to their skin color and the fact that they are female, they are not given credit by their male counterparts for the good job that they are doing.
Events; black soldiers are piloting the aircraft. Black women are tasked with computing using raw data from testing. Workers are not allowed to discuss job matters when they are outside the laboratory. Women are further discriminated even by their fellow black men.
Lee, S. M. (2017). Hidden figures: The american dream and the untold story of the black women mathematicians who helped win the space race. William Morrow.
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