[Black Wo]Man on the Moon: Hidden Figures in Theaters Now

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If you’re looking for a date night activity for this weekend, look no further!

Hidden Figures will officially be playing in all theaters January 6, 2017.

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, here’s a quick breakdown.

This film is breaking both race and gender barriers – introducing the true story of three African-American female computers at NASA in the 1960s.  These three women were monumental in America’s first human launch into orbit.  A story that has been consistently omitted from the history books… until now.

Throughout the film, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson face challenges common to black women at that time.  And despite their intellectual talent and determination, they are faced with professional and personal roadblocks every step along the way.

Thanks to one theater in the entire city of Chicago, Illinois, I was able to catch the film a few days earlier.  Here were my takeaways.

What I found most powerful about the Hidden Figures film is that the challenges approached, and eventually overcome, by Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson are not unusual from the everyday microagressions faced by black men and women in today’s professional atmosphere.

Okay, yes, we no longer have to walk an entire mile roundtrip just to use the restroom and, of course, we don’t have to use a separate coffee thermos labeled “Colored.”  But, while more obvious and visible signals of racism and discrimination may no longer exist, we are far from the finish line of equality.  The fact that most black professionals are discouraged from wearing their hair the way it grows out of their head is a strong indicator that the majority still feels uncomfortable with us in the workplace.

What’s obviously different about this film is the depiction of highly intelligent black women.  Not just super smart black women… but super smart, black women in science working for NASA.  Do you realize how bomb that is?!  I’m hoping that this story, and others I’m sure, will become more commonplace in popular culture and, in effect, drive other young women of color to strive for careers in STEM.  What would the world be like if our younger generations wanted to be life-changing scientists, rather than reality stars? *sigh… we’ll never know*

It’s also important to note the Hidden Figures soundtrack, created by Pharrell Williams. Need I say more?

Go see the movie with your boo this weekend. Then take your little sisters and brothers to encourage them to put their minds to great use.

If you’re in the Indianapolis area, bloggers from the website Strength of SHE are viewing the film together Sunday afternoon.  Tickets can be purchased here.

Let’s allow this true story of NASA’s unsung heroes encourage us to exclaim our accomplishments out loud.

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As Janelle Monae put it in her Ellen Show appearance:

These films are important for culture and for humanity.

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