“Hidden Figures” is the movie America needs right now


Hidden Figures movie poster. Image courtesy of imbd.com

Audrey Whitaker '19, Staff Writer

There’s nothing I love more than a girl that saves herself.  For years, characters like Mulan and even Princess Leia have inspired me and scores of girls my age to blaze our own trails no matter what the odds have against us.

In my eyes, “Hidden Figures” is the real life space princess movie for the six-year-old who grew up but still loves a story about some girls kicking some butt. Just hear me out.

It seems like every movie claims to be the movie of the year, the best movie for fight now and so on and so forth, but few seem to live up to the expectations. “Hidden Figures” truly is the movie America needs right now. Its message is important to anyone at any time, but is particularly relevant to today’s political and social situation.

The movie has grossed 85 million USD since Jan. 6. Hopefully Hollywood will take note and delve into more stories like this one.  

“Hidden Figures” is the true story of three African-American women, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, working on critical math calculations for some of NASA’s first missions to space in 1962.  

The film follows the women’s daily lives at work. It highlights the struggles of being an African-American woman in a white man’s world. The barriers the three must overcome to get the respect, recognition and even resources they need and deserve are immense.  

It is eye opening to see the realities of a not-so-long-ago America where gifted mathematicians, engineers and programmers went unrecognized simply because of their race or gender.  

Katharine Johnson, who co-authors groundbreaking math research has to run 20 minutes to the nearest “colored” bathroom and initially isn’t allowed into meetings which are vital to her research and calculations.  

The only reason Mary Jackson isn’t an engineer is because the job requires a few courses she didn’t do in college but isn’t able to do at the local high school because it’s an all white school, and the class “isn’t designed to teach a woman”.   

Dorothy Vaughan can’t get the title and the pay of the job she’s already doing because her all African-American team will soon be replaced by a new computer.  

However, the three never give up on what they want to do. They keep pushing themselves, the people they work for, the people they work with and most of all the limits of 1962 American culture. They teach everyone around them, at work and at home, that women, no matter where they come from, are not going to listen to you tell them what they can and cannot do.

The same little girl in me that loved Leia’s quick wit and sharp mind adored these three incredibly brave, strong, brilliant women that helped send humans into space for real. “Hidden Figures” will stick with me all through the next phase of my life.