Movies, Pop Culture

Why we all need to start 2017 with Hidden Figures

Breaking stereotypes and reinforcing history, Hidden Figures does it all.

With its engaging storytelling and stellar cast, everyone can agree that “Hidden Figures” is taking the world by storm. Not only is it inspirational, but it is historically accurate.  It is everything that we should ask for in a film. It’s clear why Hidden Figures is the #1 movie in America, it exceeds our expectations.

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https://www.facebook.com/HiddenFigures/?fref=ts

“Hidden Figures tells the story of three intelligent African American women working at NASA. Because of their amazing mathematical capabilities, they served as human calculators for the first American mission attempting to send a man to space. Taraji P. Henson vivaciously brings Katherine Johnson to the screen. Dorothy Vaughan is compellingly played by Octavia Spencer. Janelle Monáe brilliantly plays Mary Jackson. These women facilitated one of the most crucial projects in American history and it is important that we all know their story. It is clear why this true story of the powerful women behind the brains of an influential moment in history stunned audiences across the country.

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http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1600330/hidden-figures-to-hold-a-special-screening-with-michelle-obama-at-the-white-house

It is unfortunate that most of us have never heard their story before this movie. I have taken black history courses but I have never come across this powerful story. I was a young child when I first saw video of the first man walking on the moon and I am sure I was not alone in thinking that NASA was mostly composed of white men in white shirts. I am happy to shed these misconceptions and finally learn about the women of NASA. I am also deeply saddened that so many of these stories were left out of history books for so long.

My enlightenment from this wonderful material also makes me curious to find out what else I have been missing. “Hidden Figures” has exposed me to the fact that I have been educated through filtered lenses for many years. That, I assume, is the movie serving its purpose. It reminds us that even the untold stories throughout history make an impact and can change lives. It reminds us to demand to be educated about our colorful history. This movie reminds women of color that we are more powerful than history books let on. This movie celebrates truth.

“Hidden Figures” proved not only to be enlightening but to be a box office smash hit. Octavia Spencer noted she was proud that a movie about women sending men into space could beat a popular space movie, “Star Wars,” in the box office.

This is a clear example of why representation is important in Hollywood. When we see movies like this, it brings everyone confidence to tell their own stories.  Movies like “Hidden Figures” reinforce the notion that black women are diverse, intelligent beings. I can only hope this movie inspires more of its kind to be created in the future.

Grossing 27.61 million dollars in just a few weeks, the numbers prove that movies like this can sell and are well worth the money to produce them. The amount of positive attention this film received proves that society is ready to hear these untold stories, in fact, we are aching for them.

Hidden Figures is empowering, beautiful, and revolutionary. It is a well told tale that focuses on shattering norms. It flips gender and racial stereotypes on their bellies. Hidden Figures provides an honest account of history and the affect that crucial moment had on history. This movie reinforces ideas we already knew, that African American women have contributed so much to society while often going unrecognized for their achievements. This movie is one story out of thousands that still need to be told.  Fortunately, 2017 is proving to be a year stacked with films that appreciate social representation.

In the words of Octavia Spencer, “There’s material out there, but it hasn’t been greenlit. Oscars are the frosting on the cake. What matters is that you have a cake that is baked.