Friday, July 28, 2017


As I kid growing up in the 1960s in the British Isles I thought the USA was wonderful, well not the USA but NASA and space. I was too young to realise what was the experience of the people of colour, as black people were then called. I never realised there was a difference, because many of my friends were different shades of colour and I really don't believe that colour matters to kids anyway.

Since that time, I have grown and now understand the inhumanity of the slave trade and what was happening in the 1960s in the USA against the black communities was horrific. Yet in all honesty I still believed that NASA was different, sure there weren't any black faces in the control rooms or black spaceman, but why that was never crossed my mind. This is why Hidden Figures was such an eye opener for me.

The film and the book tell the real story of the Black Women who made the space missions possible! For without their very great in put into things it would not have been possible. They were doing this against such prejudice and segregation that made me angry and want to cry that another human would treat another in such a way. If you were white and male you were okay, if you were white and female you were okayish, but if you were black and female then you were nothing !

While the film for obvious reasons cuts out many things and is based on the true untold story, the book gives more detail and crosses the ts and dots the is. Having  read most of the book, the film didn't bother me much as the truth of the women's achievements came across and the acting was terrific.  The fact is that at the time NASA was as backward and as full of prejudice as much of the USA was. Far from being a beacon of light, it was a door slamming, white male dominated place that rather than being the force for change it  was forced to change because without the work of these black women it would have failed.

As I said I didn't know the story of these women and neither did Aly and I really doubt that millions or even billions of others will do so either. That is why it is important that we all know it and the film and the book help us to know the real history. That matters as today we seem to be again regressing into prejudice in so many areas. It seems that we have learnt nothing from the past and if  we don't then I don't know where we'll end up. This film and book show us that we need the talents of everyone regardless of race, creed, sex or sexuality and they do so by showing the lives of these extraordinary wonderful women who opened the doors for millions of others. Yes I know the work of the Civil Rights Movements and the many heroes of that, but I believe that these stand with them as well and their legacy is equally if not more than equal to any other.

From a review point of view, I can't fault the acting of the black cast members and Jim Parsons is as far away from Sheldon Cooper so that you forget he known for that role. You have to turn off some reality while watching it but that doesn't matter. You get caught up in the story away and then at the end of it want to laugh and cry and talk about it as we did. As for the book, it takes some reading but the effort is worth while.

So I believe that this is good for your  heart and that is how I want to end this. It opened my eyes and I am glad it did for I wonder how many other contributions that are hidden are yet to be found. 

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