As of this writing, Hidden Figures is the number one film in the country!
I am so excited about that. And I remain excited about the film. I can’t wait to see it again!
Unless you’ve been hiding underneath a rock, then you are now familiar with a story that had been quite unfamiliar to most for far too long: The story of the African American women whose computations helped make space flight happen–among them, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson.
Indeed, Johnson was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in November 2015. But at least she is getting some well-earned and long-overdue recognition.
(Take a moment to hear a bit about her journey in her own words below.)
The film doesn’t beat the viewer over the head regarding racism. It doesn’t have to. While showing the tensions of the era and the obvious foot-dragging to delay desegregation (even though the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education regarding school integration) the film shows the more subtle, casual yet no less devastating versions of both racism and sexism. Even still, you get to see these brilliant women as whole people. You see them with their families and at church and with each other.
For me, it’s not just the fact that these brilliant women are lived and worked in Virginia, my home state. Or that they are all members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., of which I am a proud member. (We are 109 years young today!)
The film celebrates the best of us and shows how powerful we are when we work together.
Though we know the late-John Glenn’s story–as an astronaut and as a Senator–we can see once again that he, too, represented the best of us.
Oh, what we can accomplish together when smart, brilliant people are free to innovate, create and solve problems without constraint.
The sky is hardly the limit. As these Alpha Kappa Alpha ladies figured.
Today’s Monday Motivation is a quote from Jackie Robinson, a man who fought to desegregate American life–most notably, on the baseball diamond.
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. –Jackie Robinson
Robinson, of course, had quite an impact on many lives in our country, and beyond our shores. And we will be able to learn more about his impact in the new Ken Burns documentary, “Jackie Robinson.” It airs in two parts–tonight and tomorrow–on PBS. The President and First Lady also appear in the documentary.