30 Incredible 'Hidden Figures' Quotes From The Film And Book

Deepthi Reddy
Dec 12, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Feb 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
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Read time: 5.1 Min

'Hidden Figures' book is based on three African-American women, written by Margot Lee Shetterly.

'Hidden Figures' film is based on the same concept as the book, directed by Theodore Melfi. The story is based on the real lives of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. You'll find quotes from the 'Hidden Figures' book that represent what Katherine did, among the other amazing women, plus quotes in 'Hidden Figures' when the spaceship is in orbit. The movie features Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.

The characters in the story were working at NASA, but they experienced discrimination there because they were black women. Among these quotes, you'll find 'Hidden Figures' quotes about education, 'Hidden Figures' quotes about inequality and more.

If similar articles interest you, why not look at our other articles on working mom quotes and African American quotes?

Hidden Figures Quotes From The Movie

The movie is based on the characters from the book 'Hidden Figures.' Some 'Hidden Figures' quotes about determination are listed below.

Comet flying to the planet Earth.

1."There are twenty bright, highly capable...women in the West Computing Group, and we're proud to be doing our part for the country."

-Katherine Johnson.

2."There is no bathroom. There are no colored bathrooms in this building or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away. Did you know that? I have to walk to Timbuktu just to relieve myself, and I can't use one of the handy bikes."

-Katherine Johnson.

3."West Virginia Collegiate Institute is the best school for...[black people] in the state."

-Marion Smithson.

4."There are quite a few women working in the space program."

-Dorothy Vaughan.

Hidden Figures Quotes About Racism

Many 'Hidden Figures' quotes from the book on racism reveal how prevalent discrimination was back then. We have listed some of them below.

5."Katherine G. Johnson: How can you be possibly ogling these white men?

Mary Jackson: It's equal rights. I have the right to see fine in every color."

-'Hidden Figures.'

6."I plan on being an engineer at NASA, but I can't do that without taking them classes at that all-white high school, and I can't change the color of my skin. So I have no choice, but to be the first, which I can't do without you, sir."

-Mary Jackson.

7."Mr. Zielinski...I'm not gonna entertain the impossible."

-Mary Jackson.

8."Oh, I'll tell you where to begin: Three [black] women chasing a white police officer down a highway in Hampton, Virginia in 1961. Ladies, that there is a God-ordained miracle!"

-Mary Jackson.

'Hidden Figures' Quotes About Inequality

The women of 'Hidden Figures' were often exposed to inequality, and some of the quotes on inequality and 'Hidden Figures' quotes about sexism listed below show this.

9."Civil rights ain't always civil."

-Levi Jackson.

10."There's no protocol for men circling the earth either, sir."

-Katherine Johnson.

11."We go from being our father's daughters to our husband's wives to our babies' mothers.."

-Mary Jackson.

12."Separate and equal are two different things. Just 'cause it's the way, doesn't make it right, understand?"

-Dorothy Vaughan.

13."Even a woman who had worked closely with an engineer on the content of a research report was rarely rewarded by seeing her name alongside his on the final publication."

-Margot Lee Shetterly.

14."Why would the computers have the same desire for recognition that they did? Many engineers figured. They were women, after all."

-Margot Lee Shetterly.

15."Colonel Jim Johnson: I'm sorry, Katherine.

Katherine G. Johnson: For what, Jim?

Colonel Jim Johnson: Underestimating you, and any other woman like you, though I don't imagine there's many.

Katherine G. Johnson: That's good practice, right there."

-'Hidden Figures.'

'Hidden Figures' Quotes About Empowerment

Some of these quotes portray the empowerment in 'Hidden Figures'. The list also includes 'Hidden Figures' quotes that shows growth. The quotes below show what Katherine, and the others, did to fight racism and gender inequality.

16."Mary, a person with an engineer's mind should be an engineer. You can't be a computer the rest of your life."

-Karl Zielinski.

17."And yes, they let women do things at NASA and not because we wear skirts, but because we wear glasses!"

-Katherine to Col. Jim Johnson.

18."If you act right, you are right. That's for certain."

-Dorothy Vaughan.

19."Yet those charged with mounting the American offense in space saw strength in countering the Russian values of secrecy with its opposites - transparency, democracy, equality- and not a simulacrum."

-Margot Lee Shetterly.

20."John Glenn: Let's get the girl to check the numbers.

Al Harrison: The girl?

John Glenn: Yes, Sir.

Al Harrison: You mean Katherine?

John Glenn: Yes, Sir, the smart one. And if she says they're good, I'm ready to go."

-'Hidden Figures.'

21."We do a great deal of the calculating getting our rockets into space."

-Dorothy Vaughan.

22."Katherine Johnson knew once you took the first step, anything was possible."

-Margot Lee Shetterly.

23."We all get to the peak together or we don't get there at all."

-Al Harrison.

24."I will have you know I was the first [black] female student at West Virginia University Graduate School."

-Katherine Johnson.

25."Karl Zielinski: And I'm a Polish Jew whose parents died in a Nazi prison camp. Now I'm standing beneath a spaceship that's going to carry an astronaut to the stars. I think we can say we are living the impossible. Let me ask you, if you were a white male, would you wish to be an engineer?

Mary Jackson: I wouldn't have to, I'd already be one."

-'Hidden Figures.'

26."There's only one thing to do: Learn all we can."

-Dorothy Vaughan.

27."Every time we have a chance to get ahead, they move the finish line."

-Mary Jackson.

28."You, sir, you are the boss. You just have to act like one... sir."

-Katherine Johnson.

29."Vivian Mitchell: Despite what you may think, I have nothing against y'all.

Dorothy Vaughan: I know. I know you probably believe that."

-'Hidden Figures.'

30."Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations."

-Margot Lee Shetterly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 30 incredible 'Hidden Figures' quotes from the film and book, then why not take a look at women's history month quotes, or Wonder Woman quotes.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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