Tag Archives: JanealMonae

The Black Women Behind NASA’s First Space Shuttle Launch!

Article by Meah Denee via ReelReality

Finally stories about people of color are becoming more of a conversation for Hollywood production companies. Doors are slowly starting to open for non slave narratives to be represented on big screens by big name production companies.

Hidden Figures tells the story of a group of African American women who changed history by calculating the trajectory for the first American astronaut to orbit the earth.  This was no easy accomplishment or job for women of color in the 1960s when African Americans were battling for equal rights in every part of their lives. Nonetheless these women used their minds and talents to help change history forever, and now we get to see their journey on the big screen.

Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson alongside Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Janelle Monae (Mary Jackson) who were a group of African American mathematicians who became the brains behind NASA’s biggest mission. In a time before electronic computers these women become the “computers” for NASA helping to launch monumental space shuttle missions including the success of Apollo 13 landing on the moon.

The movie trailer premiered Sunday night during the Rio Olympics and began with a prodigy child, Katherine Johnson, who was fascinated with numbers. The trailer goes on to show the struggles these women faced not only being black women but also being educated and how it effected their love life and families.

One scene with Henson, her daughter says, “You’ve been gone 300 hours.”

Henson responds back, “Was momma gone for twelve and a half days.”

Her daughter nods her head no saying, “No but it felt like it.”

Even though the sacrifices were grand the accomplishments that were made were even bigger. Last year Katherine Johnson received the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to her by President Barack Obama.

Hidden Figures hits theaters January 13, 2017. Catch the trailer below.

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