by Zainab Uwase
Don’t miss the Hidden Figures “who move the finish line”.
“We get to the peak together, or we don’t get there at all.” Al Harrison, in Hidden Figures.
Everyone knows who Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin are, the first men to set foot on the moon. Before these brave men, there were people who had to calculate the math and build the space shuttle that was going to make an unforgettable historic moment possible. Among these geniuses were three black female scientists that until today were never really known.
Hidden Figures is being played in theatres now and still stands as the No.1 movie in America. It can also be viewed or streamed online on different sites.
Hidden Figures is a biographical, comedic drama that is based on nonfiction writer Margot Lee Shettelry’s book which was published on September 6, 2016. The script for the motion picture was finished before the book was published. This shows how important it was for this story to be told, and Donna Gigliotti, the film producer for Silver Linings Playbook and Shakespeare in Love, recognized that. The story occurs during the Jim Crowe Virginia of the 1950s and 1960s and depicts how these three African American women are able to prevail through the discrimination to accomplish the work that helped the USA get the upper hand in the space race of the 20th century.
This movie is about more than Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson’s (Janelle Monáe) unprecedented accomplishments, but how people with differences come together for a common goal. It is exciting to see how in a time where race was still a divider, boundaries were crossed and removed to reach the epic finish line.
In the first few minutes of the movie, we witness something that would have been rare to see in the 1960s, which is better put by Mary Jackson when she says, “Three black women are chasing a white police officer down a highway in 1961, that is a God-ordained miracle.” This is where the central theme of patriotism makes a plays a big role because the officer escorts them disregarding their color or gender due to the fact that they work for NASA. This makes the movie more than racism, which is why I believe everyone will find something to relate too when they watch it.
Other than being a story that should never go back in the shadows and one that sheds light on how people can always come together even in uncertain times, this movie brings out the truths and facts that were never put in the history books. For this to be a real story to some seems unreal even today, because if an African American and on top of that a woman could make pioneering discoveries and successes during those times then what can the generation of today that is given all the freedoms accomplish?
This is the kind of movie that can be shown in classrooms, where students can understand that education really is important because these extraordinary women worked hard to get where they were. That is why everyone who wants to know this little but pivotal part of American history should not miss this well-told tale that hints at fun, struggle, and empowerment.
Know more about the real Hidden Figures at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/forgotten-black-women-mathematicians-who-helped-win-wars-and-send-astronauts-space-180960393/