Have you ever witnessed something that set your spirit on fire and motivated you to get out and do something great? And you wanted to share it with everyone you know?
That’s what “Hidden Figures” did for me. This movie was two hours and seven minutes of pure black girl magical excellence. In case you’re not familiar with it, the official description says it “is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.”
But it’s so much more than incredible. It’s the story that so many young girls need to know. And I can’t help but wonder why I was never told this story as a little girl. (I mean I know why. You can’t be told what those around you don’t know, but I still wish they did know. So that I could have known.) But now that I do know, I want my daughters to know. And all the little girls and the women that I know. I want them to know too. And not just them, but the boys and the men in our lives as well. I want them to know the greatness that surrounds them, and how important it is that they don’t ever try to dim that greatness.
From the moment I saw the “Hidden Figures” trailer, I knew that I wanted to see it. The more I saw commercials for it, I decided that this was a good story for the girls to know, but I was on the fence about taking them to the movies to see it. A movie about overcoming racial and gender oppression is sure to have some, ahem, “inappropriate” moments, right? In a bit of a spontaneous decision, I decided to preview the movie, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was in awe. I don’t think the TDs are ready to see the movie (maybe when they’re a few years older), but they are definitely ready to hear the story.
The entire time I watched the movie, I kept thinking this could be my girls. Do they know this could be them? I have to tell them. I have to tell them this story. Because they’ll never know what they could be if they don’t know their history. And their history is full of amazing people – like these three black women, who broke down barriers to make history. They did what no one else in the room could do at a time when they were considered the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. The epitome of black girl magical excellence.
Now, my goal moving forward is to share their awesome stories with the TDs and find more hidden gems from our history to share. Because as TD1 told me the other day, “I want to be everything when I grow up.” So, it’s my job to show her what everything looks like.
Reach for the stars and land on the moon, Baby Girl.