Hidden Figures is a movie based on a true story about three amazing black women who work at NASA as mathematician in West Virginia 1961. They are not just trying to change the world, but they are trying to change history. They are battling with feminism, sexism, racism, discrimination and segregation. Despite everything thrown their way they continued to beat all odds to get their pilot John Glenn to space. They are the brains of the operations working in three separate departments of NASA. This movie is a five out of five and one to put on your bucket list if you haven’t already seen it.
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson was played by Taraji P Henson. Her job position at NASA was consider a “human computer” in the space task force. She would calculate the trajectory computations for the capsule orbit and for its reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. She played a major part in making sure all the numbers and points matched. She had to gain her trust and spot in the space task force, being she was the only female in that department, what makes matters worse is she was the only black in that department as well. She had a lot on her plate and managed to make all ends meet. Katherine had to deal with the math constantly changing and she couldn’t be briefed on all the information because she was a female. She had to miss out on a lot of data changes because she had to go to the bathroom which was a half of mile away because there was no black bathroom for her to use in her unit. “The limited number of women and people of color in the field make it problematic, in some cases, when entering predominantly White male organizations” (Ballenger et al. 160). Katherine’s boss Al Harrison played by Kevin Costner does not care about her race her gender he just wants her to be able to get her work done to help get a successful launch into space, and he made it very clear.
Mary Jackson who was played by Janelle Monae’ worked in the engineer department, but was also known as a “human computer”. She strives to make the impossible possible and spoke nothing but the truth. Her boss Mr. Zelinski told her there was an opening in the engineer training program, Mary told him she won’t entertain the idea because she is a negro woman an that is impossible for her to be an engineer. She then sat out and pushed to work to become that engineer. But she was told she was not qualified enough to have that position. Mary then had to go to court to be able to attend an all white school too be able to be qualified to work at NASA as an engineer instead. “Every time we have a chance to get ahead, they move the finish line. Every time.” (Mary Jackson).
The last mathematician and “human computer” is Dorothy Vaughan played by Octavia Spencer. Dorothy was in charge of all the human computers in the West Area Computing without the title of it, which was the supervisor role. She was a natural leader, and she strives to get the position she worked for. She paid attention to what was going on throughout NASA and instead of them losing out on work she got ahead and stepped up to keep them employed. NASA was bringing in a machine called the IBM that did the math of over 24,000 workers. Dorothy had to teach her and her girls how to work the IBM machine without anybody aware of her actions, because if she didn’t, they would soon be out of work. “One area in particular where black women stand apart is in their reporting of having been passed over for the most important assignments because of their gender – 22% of employed black women say this has happened to them, compared with 8% of whites and 9% of Hispanics.” (Parker and Funk 1). This is what Ms. Vaughan was experiencing, even though she had the knowledge and experience she wasn’t qualified enough because of her race. Dorothy boss Ms. Mitchell was a white woman who ignored all of Ms. Vaughan request and continues to let her know she should just be happy she has a job. Despite that Dorothy worked hard to make sure that her or any of her girls went unnoticed.
Hidden Figures is a must-see movie. I will proudly give this movie an A. “Within fifteen years of the enactment of Title VII, the wage income of women increased by $22 billion, and more than four million women were working in higher job categories. Although women have continued to experience improvement in working conditions, employment discrimination against women persists in various forms in at least three distinct categories: overt sex discrimination, sex stereotyping, and disparate treatment.” (Gregory 38). As a black female, it gives you light that no matter what challenges you encounter you too are capable of being whatever it is you want to be, it may be a challenge, but it is worth it to make a difference in life. If you haven’t seen this take the time out of your schedule get your popcorn and all your snacks and be prepared to enjoy a movie that won’t bore, you but will enlighten you on history in two ways. One Americans were the first to orbit Earth. Second, no matter what your race is you will be proud to watch these three ladies continue to hold their head up and make history by just doing their job and what they love. Hidden Figures won many awards this film and even nominated for Oscar awards. Here are a few they won, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Blue Ribbon Awards for Best Foreign Film, MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Fight Against the System, and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. Please if not for yourself do it for me and watch this movie and understand the amazing attributions these phenomenal women did and what a game changer it became and now, they are known forever.
Ballenger, Julia, et al. Women of Color in STEM : Navigating the Workforce. Information Age Publishing, 2017. Pp157-178 EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1424273&site=ehost-live. This book talks about the diversity in the STEM workplace and how they feel working in a predominately white male industry. Scholarly Source. I will use this to show how the ladies if hidden figures may have felt the same as the ladies going through it today.
Gregory, Raymond F. Women and Workplace Discrimination : Overcoming Barriers to Gender Equality. Rutgers University Press, 2003.APA (American Psychological Assoc.) Gregory, R. F. (2003)New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/ZTAwMHhuYV9fMTA0OTIyX19BTg2?sid=e9944ffb-5817-404f-9eaa-96637b3315ba@sessionmgr120&vid=2&format=EB&lpid=lp_28&rid=0 Pp 38-47. This book talks about the women and their workplace. Scholarly Source. I will use this to show how women are affected by discrimination.
McElroy, Wendy, and Lewis Perry. Freedom, Feminism, and the State. Vol. Second edition, Independent Institute, 2017. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1530820&site=ehost-live. This book talks about all the Feminist problems women have faced and are still facing. Scholarly Source. I will use this source to compare what the movie has dealt with in relation to what is still going on.
Melfi, Theodore Hidden Figures. January 6, 2017. This is the movie I am doing for my review. Primary Source. I will use this to explain my reasonings for my review.
Parker, Kim and Funk, Carl http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/14/gender-discrimination-comes-in-many-forms-for-todays-working-women/ This cite talks about the stats of gender discrimination. Not scholarly, but it shows shows the different discrimination for being women and for women of color. I will use this to show the difference kinds of gender discrimination and how they all play a role in society.
WHITTAKER, E. W. Solitudes of the Workplace : Women in Universities. Montreal: MQUP, 2015. Disponível em: <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1130821&site=ehost-live>. Acesso em: 28 nov. 2018. This text talks about women being treated differently in their workplace. Scholarly Source. I will use this to show how women are treated in their work place even if they hold the same degree as a man.