We saw Hidden Figures today. It is based on true events, and on a biography of a real person. It isn’t that you could get in a time machine and eavesdrop on the same words being spoken in some historical NASA hallway. This movie rings true with historical reality and emotional veracity. It glows with the courage and energy of real people of color who stood up, and who would Not. Stand. Down.
The space race was not just a matter of national prestige. The Russians were lobbing warhead-sized payloads over our heads. We needed to get in that game, and not yesterday. It is a good platform to consider the cost of prejudice, and the price we pay as a society for cutting a narrow slice of humanity (white males) for authority and innovation, and excluding the rest. The movie makes that cost and that price crystal-clear as well.
Just go see it.
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- At the end of the movie, we find out how the three main characters fared. They made a very distinguished mark on space history, is how.
- The Cut: Hidden Figures shows how a bathroom break can change history
- The Stranger: I want to take my womb out of retirement and give birth to a black daughter so she can see Hidden Figures
- We seem to have given up on many of the dreams of the space race. We have not been back to the Moon. Our president-elect wants to turn the gaze of NASA away from our home, and make no mistake, the planet we live on is one we should be studying as if our civilization depended on it. But getting into space wasn’t even the biggest achievement of the ’60’s; that would be the gains of the Civil Rights Act. That we seem intent on abandoning those gains fills me with dread.