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WATCH: Arkansan appears on ‘Good Morning America’ with ‘Hidden Figures’ stars

by Maggie McNeary | February 20, 2017 at 10:32 a.m.

An Arkansas woman appeared on Good Morning America Monday to tell her story of being a “hidden figure” in the U.S. Navy.

Raye Montague, who was profiled in the Democrat-Gazette in 2012, grew up in Pine Bluff and now lives in Little Rock.

Montague spent 33 years as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy, working as a ship engineer. She created a program that drew up a ship’s designs in less than 19 hours. The design’s creation took two years before her work.

On Good Morning America, Montague emphasized that she wasn’t just the first black woman or first woman to create the program: She was the first person to do so.

While on the show, Montague was joined by Janelle Monáe, who played Mary Jackson in the movie Hidden Figures. Octavia Spencer, who portrayed Dorothy Vaughan, also appeared onscreen to thank Montague for her work.

"It is such an honor and privilege to thank you for being a pioneer and trailblazer for women all across the world," Spencer said. "I want to let you know that you are no longer hidden."

Throughout her career, Montague persevered in the face of sexism and racism from her co-workers, eventually winning the Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1972.

The 82-year-old almost didn’t get to go to New York to appear on Good Morning America; her health prevented her from flying, but ABC sent a chauffeured limo to pick her up.


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