Power in Hidden Figures

Some time ago Dan and I saw the movie Hidden Figures, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  It’s about three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1960s.  Did I say worked?   They were actually the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit.  It was a stunning achievement that turned the Space Race around, electrifying the world.

The story is based on three real-life math whizzes who just happened to be African-American women. Real-life in that the main character is both black and a woman. (The position was considered a herculean achievement for a white woman, but for a woman of color, it was impossible.)  Black and a woman, and she paid the price for being both.  Yet she had pulled it off.  And instead of resulting in a dull, good-for-us movie, it is an easy-to-watch, well-written message assuring young women that anything is possible, and  for those of us who remember those days, a well-deserved affirmation of our claims.

I give it triumphant 10!

“You have to be taught to be second class. You’re not born that way.”

Lena Horne


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6 Responses to Power in Hidden Figures

  1. I loved Hidden Figures! For me, it sent a empowering message to anyone who has been told, “You can’t because…”

  2. Laura says:

    We don’t hear this message, or see the real life results nearly often enough.
    Which is why so many men haven ‘t gotten it through their thick heads. Let’s make certain they do know!

  3. Kim Shepherd says:

    One more observation that might be helpful…

    The person who was in power at that establishment recognized the contribution and went against the “status quo” to support the down-trodden and enable them to do their task more effectively. He may have just been looking at the result and identifying how to make the working more efficient and effective, but his actions allowed that and more. Simply by allowing the woman into a near-by bathroom he allowed for more time on the job and a recognition of her value to the team. By the same token, his ignorance of the reality of her situation was brought to light, and then he facilitated supports. As someone in a more favored position, both speak to me: seek out injustice and create supports to enable strengths and truth to be shown. Do not see with eyes of “that’s how it is” , but rather with eyes of “what are people’s strengths and how can people be supported so they will have an opportunity to show their strengths”.

    • kaystrom says:

      Good observations, Kim. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of looking at situations through fresh, compassionate, forward thinking eyes.
      Thanks for your “ramblings”!
      ~ Kay

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