‘Hidden Figures’ showcases the confidence within us all


The New York Times

“Hidden Figures,” released on Jan. 6, tells the untold true story of three African-American women who, against all racial boundaries and stereotypes, helped NASA put the first man in orbit.

As I arrived at the theatre and saw a crowd of people lining up to get inside, I realized that this movie had to be something. As the credits rolled through, I knew that I would happily stand in line for days just to watch this film over and over again.

Inspiration. That’s what “Hidden Figures” presented to the audience – a piece of knowledge that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Released on Jan. 6, the movie is based on the untold, but true story of three African-American women, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) as they launched the first man into outer space in 1962.

Johnson, Jackson, and Vaughan are all living in the segregated area of Hampton, Virginia in the 1960’s. All three women work at the Langley Research Center for NASA as the best and brightest in their division. These women were all mathematicians that specialized in IBM programming, engineering, and algorithms.

However, the movie also depicts how the women struggled for years to get ahead, and how their white peers belittled them and often lied in order for the women to look like they weren’t as smart as they really were. The movie additionally showed racial incidents that were happening back in the 60’s like freedom marches and JFK, who gave a speech about integrated schools.

The soundtrack for this film was filled with intense songs, and lighthearted scenes were made better by singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams. His song, “Freedom,” is a beautiful ballad that spoke about confidence, but also being held back from perceptions others might have. Hans Zimmer, whom I absolutely adore, also composed some beautiful concertos that were featured in the movie. The costumes represented the way black women dressed in the 60’s perfectly, the interior decoration of the homes was spot on, and even their southern accents were perfectly tuned.

The saddest part about this movie is the fact that this is a 100 percent true story meaning all events that happened were real. History textbooks have completely erased the fact that three black women helped to put a man into space and I think that is disrespectful. However, this just goes to show us how there are always two sides to every story. It took one movie to shed light on such an important event in history and I appreciate that.

For anyone who is looking for a fantastic movie on love, ambition, and a history lesson with some classy jazz beats, I would highly recommend this movie. “Hidden Figures” is no longer hidden from my mind.

Azanae Barrow is an Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.