Home Entertainment Hidden Figures: A Spotlight on the Black Women Behind the Space Race Win

Hidden Figures: A Spotlight on the Black Women Behind the Space Race Win

by Chelsea Hinkofer
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Hidden Figures

 

Hidden figures

Hidden Figures stars Empire star Taraji P. Henson, musician Janelle Monáe, and other famed actors such as Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Octavia Spencer, and Jim Parsons. The story is one that needs to be shown at a time like this in America.

The film, based off the novel of the same name, takes place in 1961, when women, let alone women of color, were to be nowhere near ground-breaking science. But that did not stop Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) from launching astronaut John Glen into space. He was the very first man in orbit, actually. The three brilliant women took a chance to make something great in a time of segregation.

Johnson’s initial role at NASA (and NACA, or National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA’s predecessor) was as a “computer” — a person who computes, as the electronic variety wasn’t yet commonplace. Langley’s first human computers were divided into an east wing and a west wing of women, separated by race, who worked to calculate trajectories for America’s first suborbital and orbital launches.

The women are responsible for contributing to the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s. They crossed boundaries to start a movement and new generation set on changing the scene. This is a movie you won’t want to miss. Rumors abound that there will be a limited release showing on Christmas Day, allowing the movie to qualify for the Oscars. It will be in theaters January 6th, 2017.

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