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'hidden Figures' Stars Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, & Janelle Monáe Cover Essence

The incredible film, with a limited release on Christmas Day, tells the story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia) and Mary Jackson (Janelle)-brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Inside their cover story, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and
Janelle Monáe discuss the invaluable impact Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary made. Taraji: When I was growing up, people told me out of their mouths math and science are for boys. I was told that over and over. Like, no one showed me how to fall in love with numbers. If I had a teacher like Mrs. Johnson, who knows, I might be on the moon. Octavia: Dorothy Vaughan is the genesis of Black Girls Code. Janelle: I think they would not have achieved the level of success that they did had they not had one another.