Taraji, Octavia, and Janelle Slay in ‘Hidden Figures’ Trailer


As we all know, blackness and black womanhood are not monoliths. And movies like Hidden Figures are instrumental in exposing the commonly overlooked historical contributions of African-American women.

Some people might think that black girl magic is something new, like black women haven’t been killing the game since the dawn of time. But they have been. While black people (especially women) have been historically undervalued, underestimated, and disregarded, our intellectual contributions have been instrumental in human development worldwide. And mathematics is just one of the areas where we have consistently excelled.

That is precisely the point of Hidden Figures. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe play Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, respectively.  In the film, they are employees of NASA who are instrumental in the success of the Mercury and Apollo missions. As shown in the trailer, these women had to fight racism and misogyny in their workplace, even as they were at the forefront of the Space Race. But their tenacity and brilliance set them apart.

Hidden Figures proves why there has been a fervent push to promote black participation in STEM. Our minds are indispensable. Katharine Johnson calculated the trajectories for Project Mercury and for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. And possibly, just in releasing this movie, the next Katharine Johnson might be inspired to follow her dreams and be responsible for the next big scientific breakthrough.

Hidden Figures hits theaters January 13th. Watch the trailer below!

Directed by Theodore Melfi from a script he co-wrote with Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures is based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The story focuses on the work and challenges behind the successful spaceflight of astronaut John Glenn, who became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. The film will be the first time the contributions of African American scientists to that effort have been the focus of story about the space race on film. Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, and Glen Powell also star.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

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