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Unity360 Critical Race Film Series: Hidden Figures
In 1961, NASA’s eyes were focused on the future, but the agency’s feet were firmly planted in the segregation – by race and sex – of the past. The award-winning film Hidden Figures (2016) is the story of Mary Jackson, Kathryn Johnson, and Dorothy Vaugh, three Black women who were mathematicians at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and became integral to the success of US efforts in the Space Race, including John Glenn’s landmark 1962 flight. Until uplifted by this film, and the book by Margot Lee Shetterly on which it is based, the stories of these women were eclipsed (pun intended) in the Space Race story; NASA has since named a ship after Kathryn Johnson, and their DC headquarters after Mary Jackson, both announced sixty years after the story’s setting. With leading roles powerfully played by Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, and a supporting cast that is just as stellar and includes Mahershala Ali, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, and Kirsten Dunst, the film was a bonafide blockbuster. Estimated to have netted a profit of $95.5 million, the film smashed the myth that women’s stories – and specifically Black women’s stories – don’t make for profitable films. Hidden Figures definitely passes both the Bechdel and DuVernay tests, but will it pass the Unity360 CRFS test? Join us immediately following the film to find out when Lutze Segu, J Thompson, Quincie Doucet, Heather Burdick, and Roni Bennett dish and discuss to find out! The film screens on March 27th at 6pm and is rated PG. © 2021 20th Century Studios
Date/time: March 27, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
Presented By:Lutze Segue, Doctorial Candidate, Gender, Race Sexuality, and Social Justice, University of British Columbia; Heather Burdick, Co-founder and Co-director, Miami Girls Rock Camp