This sounds like an awesome film!
tells the true story of three female African-American mathematicians who served as the brains behind NASA’s Friendship 7 mission. Their calculations helped astronaut John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962.
“I thought it was fiction. I thought, ‘Wow, this is a great story that needs to be told because we haven’t seen black women from that era portrayed in that way,'” Spencer said at a Produced By 2016 panel about diversity and gender parity in Hollywood.
“When I found out it was true, it hurt me to the core. That they were left out of the retelling of history and they made contributions to history. It’s not just black women, it’s also women. They had an entire department of women,” she said.
I'm really looking forward to it
Hidden Figures was just as good as the trailers suggested (I'm off to the cinema tomorrow with friends to see it for the second time!). It also generated a lot of much-needed discussion about women in STEM and black women in STEM in particular. These are a couple of the articles I've seen:
Hidden Figures takes us back to a time when computers were people, women, and black
In honor of Hidden Figures, meet the contemporary black women contributing to NASA’s success
A couple more articles,
‘Hidden Figures’ Octavia Spencer: Diversity Among Oscar Season Movies ‘Is Not A Reaction To #OscarsSoWhite’
The title isn't very interesting but the interview it links to is.
When people say “diversity in Hollywood” they assume “black,” but diversity is all shapes and sizes, varying ages, varying backgrounds and socioeconomic levels, varying degrees of education, impoverished and elite. We see a lot of the elite, but very little of the impoverished that isn’t stereotypical...There’s so many different perspectives and interesting stories out there. There are many, many meanings of diversity to me. I want to see more Latin stories told. More Asian stories.
A Black Female Astrophysicist Explains Why Hidden Figures Isn't Just About History
The statistics at the start of this are shocking,
…between 1973 and 2012, 22,172 white men received PhDs in physics. Only 66 black women did.
The subject of the piece, Dr Chanda Prescod-Weinstein explained how she wanted to take advanced algebra classes at school but was told she couldn't,
Do I know that she said it because I was black or because I was a girl? No. But if you talk to black women and white women, black men and white scientists, there’s a pattern: those of us who are black women have heard these things more frequently.
The last section of the interview talks about how few women their are working in physics,
Until last March, I had never been supervised by a woman. My current post-doc advisor is the first woman research advisor that I’ve ever had. I’m six years out from my PhD and that’s how long it took for me to work with another woman, and she’s white.
She ends by talking about the importance of role models, something very close to my heart,
One of the things we can do is, in the celebratory storytelling of these incredible women, that we not forget that children and young adults need modern examples that they can relate to in a more day-to-day way.
I want for the young women and non-binary people and men out there to have what I did not have; I did not know about any black women working in physics when I was a high school student. A thing that’s very exciting for me is that I can be that person for someone else. And that enriches my work.
This is a nice review of the book on which the film is based.