Monday, February 20, 2017

Hidden Figures

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took our kids to see Hidden Figures at the movie theater.  An AMAZING movie that you absolutely MUST see and a movie your kids MUST see.  The movie takes place during the early years of NASA when the U.S. was trying to keep up with the Soviet Union space program.  The Soviet Union was the first to put a human in space and this was a tough blow to the U.S.  Hidden Figures focuses on NASA's attempts to put a U.S. human in space and the role women of color played.

NASA, at this time, is dominated by white men.  In fact, ALL scientists in leading positions in this movie are white men.  The movie starts just before computers are used at NASA.  The 'computers' at the start of the movie are humans, typically women, including women of color.  The movie focuses on the struggles of women of color to move up the ranks at NASA.  It shows how black women were seen as lesser humans, seemingly unable to do the same work as a white male.  The message in the movie is fantastic.  Women, and in particular women of color, are just as smart, just as capable (if not more) than white men.

I wish I could see inside the minds of my 6 year old and 9 year old.  I can only image what they are thinking when they saw scenes of blacks being forced to sit at the back of the bus, use different bathrooms, drink from different drinking fountains, drink from different coffee pots (actual scene in the movie), and be looked at as lesser humans.  The sad part in all of this is that white, male privilege still exists in science today.  Things are more equal, granted, but most areas of science are still dominated but white men and that is a problem.  The other sad thing is that today, in 2017, many people are still battling the use of bathrooms.  The bathroom battle doesn't focus on race today, but on one's gender.  In 2017 there is an on-going battle of who can and cannot use a public bathroom.  Seriously??? We are all humans who pee and poop.

Go see Hidden Figures.  You'll love it.  Your kids will love it, and they learn a very valuable lesson on morals.  

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