Wilson’s hidden figure.

On 15 January 2017, the Wilson Times published an article about a Wilson-born woman with ties to “Hidden Figures,” the Hollywood blockbuster shining the spotlight on three black women who worked as “human computers” in NASA’s space program. 

Though Christine Barnes Richie is not a title character in the film, she was among the mathematicians Margot Lee Shetterly interviewed for the book upon which the movie is based. Richie is the daughter of McKinley and Hagar Hagans Barnes.


McKinley Barnes, 21, of Taylor township, son of Lovett Barnes and Lucy Wells married Hagar Hagans, 17, daughter of James and Hannah Hagans, on 11 January 1930 in Wilson, Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 319 North Hackney, lumber mill laborer Frank Harris, 35, wife Mamie, 33, and son Frank Jr., 2, with farm laborer McKinley Barnes, 21, and wife Hagar, 16.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: McKinley Barnes, 32, wife Heggar, 26, and children Christine, 8, Katherine, 7, and Ruby, 1, niece Lizzy Mae Barnes, 20, and mother Lucy Barnes, 59.