I was so excited to see Hidden Figures being a woman in technology, I love hearing stories about intelligent and tech savvy women…plus the promotion for this movie was great.
Hidden Figures is now open in Select Theaters, Opening everywhere: January 6, 2017
(Warning…Movie Spoiler Alerts Below)
In the beginning of the movie a little girl, Catherine (Taraji Henson younger character) parents were told she is gifted “a child prodigy” with a mind like no one else and should be placed in a gifted school. She received a full scholarship but needed money to get back and forth to the school. So some of the parents’ friends pulled together some money to help Catherine get to school for at least a few weeks.
Lesson: How often are gifted students left in average situations and not sent to better schools to reach their full potential? How often do we mistake gifted children for just ‘quiet students’?
As a community we need to come together and help families and take care of each other’s kids… What’s the saying?… “It takes a village to raise a child.”
The three main characters: Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), a math genius-played a crucial role in calculating flight trajectories for NASA; Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), led black women at the West Area Computers division; and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), NASA’s first African-American female engineer. And all the amazing black women who served as “human computers” — people making complex mathematical calculations before the advent of traditional computers.
The 3 main characters all experienced challenges: (Work)
Katherine Johnson- She was known as the computer not her name but the computer because she could calculate like no one else. She worked in a room full of all white men that never hired a ‘colored’ woman or man before. She had to run across campus (miles) to use the restroom (because of segregation), she had to use a separate coffee maker and couldn’t afford pearls that the women at NASA was asked to wear.
Mary Jackson- She was encouraged by one of her bosses to become an engineer. But was required to take classes at all white school in a room full of all men. She had to plead her case in front of a judge to allow her to attend the segregated school for night classes and defend her decisions to her husband on why she was good enough to become an engineer.
Dorothy Vaughan- She was the intelligent savvy mother-like women of the group. For work, she picked up Katherine and Mary every morning and drove them home every night. She was in charge of all the black women in the space program and was doing the job of a supervisor but wasn’t paid extra for the time or work.
The 3 main characters all experienced challenges: (Personal)
Katherine Johnson- She lived with her mother and three young girls; Her husband died (didn’t explain how). She met a man but the meet and greet started out rocky when he insulted her; asking why how she got into NASA and she replied with something witty and intelligent as only black women can do.
Mary Jackson- She was married with two kids. She and her husband disagreed on quite a few things involving her career especially her becoming an engineer. He brought up not getting what she deserved at NASA and how would things become different obtaining another college degree.
Dorothy Vaughan- She was a single mother of two young boys, they didn’t mention anything about a father or husband. But the movie did show the struggle of a black woman trying to raise black boys without a male role model.
Throughout the movie all three women showed the uneasy feeling to stand up for yourself not just being a woman but being a black woman with an incredible brain.
You are underestimated until you believe in yourself enough to prove them wrong!!
By the end of the movie:
Katherine Johnson- She remarried to an incredible man that not only loved her but her children and mother. She became the human not the computer that calculated the flight trajectories for NASA, stood up for herself and was needed by that all white male team who did not want her in the beginning. Katherine was able to not only witness history but contribute to it.
Mary Jackson- Her husband finally came around and supported her decision to go back to school to become an engineer. She was NASA’s first African-American female engineer and graduated with the support of her friends and family.
Dorothy Vaughan- She was finally promoted and became NASA’s first African American Supervisor and not only saved her job but the jobs of the 30 other black women in the program.
There are many untold stories of incredible women especially black women from OUR history—I’m so glad we finally know about these women.
But you realize there are so many untold stories in our history. How do we find out about those stories and get them told either through books, movies, press, etc.?
It’s our job to write OUR history and make sure the world knows about untold stories so we won’t have any more…“Hidden Figures.”
BY: Tiffanie Stanard, Host/Producer @Philly_Speaks @TiffanieStanard