Critics agree Hidden Figures is
“An inspiring, family-friendly historical drama.”
It is all this and MORE.
Last Sunday, I found myself with a writing sister waiting for the movie previews to finish. Little did I expect while watching Hidden Figures for two hours that I would find myself engaged with and connected to strangers as we clapped and cheered together many times! I felt ONENESS.
I can’t remember the last time this happened at a movie.
It’s been a long time.
The film is based on the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. Set in the Jim Crow deep south of 1962, Shetterly masterfully weaves a story of black sisterhood between Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan.
The surprise setting unfolds at the NASA research center in Langley, VA, where the three women work. It was the time of Cold War America and we were engaged in intense competition with Russia for space dominance. On everyone’s mind loomed the ultimate question: Who would land on the moon first?
Johnson, Jackson, and Vaughan played pivotal NASA roles as “colored computers” to calculate and formulate before IBM became a part of America’s infrastructure for business and government.
This is the movie America needs right now.
|Author Margot Lee Shetterly|
Here are seven lessons from this black sisterhood that inspire hope, inspiration, and collaboration:
From author Margot Lee Shetterly:
1) “Katherine Johnson knew: once you took the first step, anything was possible.”
Sisterhood Lesson: Take the first step regardless of being told you can’t or shouldn’t. If Katherine hadn’t taken that first step, America might not have been the first to land on the moon. She was called on in 1962 to manually verify the computer’s numbers because John Glenn asked for her personally; he refused to fly unless she verified the calculations.
2) “Their dark skin, their gender, their economic status–none of those were acceptable excuses for not giving the fullest rein to their imaginations and ambitions.”
Sisterhood Lesson: Remind yourself, “What people think of me is none of my business.” The three friends embodied this message and distinguished themselves despite constant obstacles: a NASA building carries Johnson’s name and she received the National Medal of Honor in 2015; Jackson became the first African-American woman engineer at NASA and; Vaughan was promoted as the first African-American woman to serve as a head of NASA personnel.
|L-r Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan|
From Al Harrison, leader of the NASA Space Task Group played by Kevin Costner:
3) “Find the genius among the geniuses.”
Sisterhood Lesson: Look for brilliance in unexpected places, even when it seems everyone is shining; there’s always someone with an even brighter light you can learn from!
4) “We all get there (outer space) together or we don get there at all.”
Sisterhood Lesson: A reminder of the classic acronym for TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More! Think of ways how you can unite instead of dividing. Collaborate instead of separating. Compliment instead of judging. Appreciate instead of denigrating.
5) “They did not complain. They just got up every day and fought the good fight.” -Taraji P. Henson who played Katherine Johnson
Sisterhood Lesson: Stop complaining. It’s wasted energy and serves nothing and no one. Start doing and being what you believe in every day, not tomorrow or some day.
6) “The film is important because sisterhood is important.” -Janelle Monae who played Mary Jackson
Sisterhood Lesson: A new way of working and being is replacing the old way. Become a part of a sisterhood! Everywhere the global sisterhood is being called into the spotlight as a collective force for the collective good. Katherine, Mary, and Dorothy’s story remind us of what is possible!
|President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Katherine G. Johnson, November 24, 2015|
7) “Well, I was just doing my job.” – Katherine G. Johnson, 99, the only one still living of the three friends. She was honored with the National Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Sisterhood Lesson: You and I have a job to do. We came here with a purpose. It’s time to align with your true purpose and take inspired action. You and I are the ones the world’s been waiting for. There’s a job to do.
Again, this is the movie of many sisterhood lessons that America needs to embrace right now to fly high!
Which lesson spoke to you?
Thank you in advance for commenting, sharing, and/or Tweeting if this spoke to you.
P.S. Is your job to now share your message with the world? Your invitation is waiting for you to join me at the Treasure Island Beach Writer’s Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul, April 23-28. ** Early pricing closes on January 23.**