The movie Hidden Figures portrayed the struggles of three black women who work at NASA in the 1960’s. The women work in a segregated portion of NASA doing mathematical computations and are all very smart. One of the women, Mary Jackson, gets brought up to work in the engineering section. One, Dorothy Vaughan, is striving to be the manager of the black women mathematicians. The last woman, Katherine Goble, is summoned to work on analytical geometry with the “big guns” of NASA’s Mercury missions. The women fight racial and gender bias all the way to becoming crucial in the success of the mission.
This movie relates perfectly to HON 120’s goal of educating students about the lives of the marginalized. The women in this movie fought racial oppression wherever they went. When Katherine is summoned to work for the Space Task Group it is the first time there has ever been a black woman in that building. Not only are there no “colored-bathrooms”, but everything is made for “whites” in there. At one point Katherine tries to get some coffee from the large pot and receives many harsh looks. The next day there is a small, cheap coffee pot with a sign that says “colored-coffee pot”. Later in the movie the boss removes all the segregation signs in the Space Center in order to provide group cohesion. The women fit perfectly into the focus of our Honors class this year.
I liked this movie. It is important to remember the way things were in the past so that we can keep looking forward. Modern America does not have the blatant segregation of the 1960’s, but it does have more subtle forms of segregation and racism. This movie encouraged me to keep striving to make America better.