Why Hidden Figures is a Must See Movie

 

I'm fortunate to have a job that allows me to make my own schedule, which means that some weeks are more productive than others.  If I'm honest, some are far more productive. However, the most valuable part of this week had nothing to do with "work" or completing house projects.  No, the most valuable two and a half hours of my week were spent seeing the movie Hidden Figures.

The film takes place takes place in Hampton, VA and is based on the true stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three female African-American mathematicians who worked for N.A.S.A. during the 60s, and their humble fight to be taken seriously.  If you haven't seen "Hidden Figures" yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It's truly a must see, especially as of late.

The timing of the film's release was perfect, and not only because of issues surrounding the recent inauguration, the world wide women's marches, the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and February being Black History Month.  It's perfect because of where our country and culture finds itself right now, regardless of how we got here. 

We're in the midst of having to grapple with deeply rooted issues whether we want to or not, and it's ... well, hard.  No longer are we able to take a passive stance on many controversial issues, issues that are at the core of our culture.  Everything from issues of racism and sexism to religious and political affiliation have inundated the news and social media lately, and we have a responsibility to engage.

But how do we remain steadfast in things like our faith while seeking to understand the views of others?  How and when do we choose to speak up about a prejudice or an injustice that we become aware of, but feel it's not our place or it's too vast an issue?  Or, when do we simply seek to educate ourselves about something outside our traditional sphere, like the Black Lives Matter Movement, the LGBTQ community, the history of civil rights and women's suffrage, and so much more? 

The answer to these questions? I don't know.  But I do know one thing: as believers in the gospel, we have the responsibility to engage as we desire to see others reconciled to Christ.  We're in this world to bring others to Jesus, and we can't close ourselves off to the toughest of issues.  And the good news is that the results are ultimately not up to us.  They're up to Him, which means the pressure's off!

We don't have to measure our successes based on the results of the lives of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who while breaking both color and gender barriers eventually became responsible for the lives of U.S. astronauts.  We can start right where we are, just like these women did. 

Just like Johnson spoke up about the vile injustice of having to use a "colored" bathroom when she first started working at N.A.S.A., we can speak up about instances of racism in our neighborhood, school, or workplace.  Just like Dorothy Vaughan graciously refused to work as a supervisor without receiving the pay of one, we can work to ensure equal treatment of women, minorities, and LGBTQ members in our own workplace.  Just like Mary Jackson refused to accept that her skin color determined how far she could advance her career, we can seek to ensure that both we nor those around us receive impartial treatment based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

We can start right where we are, which is what these women did.  And who knows?  Maybe we'll end up sending or helping send someone to the moon too.  But at the very least, let's commit to giving every Hidden Figure the powerful and equal voice they deserve.