Same Old Stories
Last year many black people urged us to support Birth of a Nation actor Nate Parker’s film about Nat Turners’ slave rebellion. For some reason, they thought that this movie would have some profound effect on black people. During a time of racial tension in our country pro-blacks thought that this movie would cause black people to rise up against oppression and injustice.
Personally, I still haven’t seen Birth of a Nation, 12 Years a Slave, or Selma. It’s not that I don’t want to support Black filmmakers (or wouldn’t have created this blog). I understand that the slave rebellion was an important and overlooked historical event however; It’s not enjoyable to watch brutal attacks on your own people. It gets depressing watching the same movies about slavery and the civil rights movement. The same stories keep being told over and over again. Most black people already know about the civil rights movement and slavery. We should learn more about black history, and that’s why the release of Hidden Figures made me happy.
From Print to Film
Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures provided the basis for the film. It tells the story of Kathrine G. Johnson (Played by Taraji P. Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), and Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer). These women were are part of a team of African-American female mathematicians in NASA’s space program. This was in 1962 in Virginia during a time when black people couldn’t even drink from the same water fountain as whites.
Unsung American Heroes
Katherine Johnson was one of the best mathematicians at NASA. The United States may have never been able to safely send an astronaut into space had it not been for her calculations. She was one of the most important historical figures in the field of science, yet people didn’t even know who she was prior to the film release. In fact, I’m certain most black people didn’t know about any of the black women who worked for NASA during that time. It’s a shame that we didn’t learn this in school.
The Importance of Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures is a very important film. I feel it is way more important for black people to see than movies about slavery. I would encourage people to take their children especially their daughters to see Hidden figures. It is very inspirational and empowering for young black girls to see black women excelling in the traditionally male-dominated fields of math and science especially during a time of extreme oppression. Hopefully, more movies will be produced about unsung black historical figures.
If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures I encourage you to see it. It’s a very Inspiring and surprising film. What other “hidden figures” would you like to see movies about? Comment your thoughts below!! Please share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!! Thanks!!