After several weeks and months of not getting around to it, the Mrs. and I finally sat down to watch Hidden Figures. Lately, I have been contemplating the plight of the American woman and her historic, and current roles of wife, mother, sister, friend, colleague and so much more in our society.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement that has swept our world over the last year, I have found myself wondering how I have wronged, disrespected, and been insensitive to females over my lifetime.
Hidden Figures, 2016, a film based from the lives of three black women of Virginia, was made into a film from the book, Hidden Figures: The Story of the African American Women who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson all worked at NASA during the 1960s as America and Russia were vying for their respective flags around space and on the moon. These mathematicians aka “human computers” were vital in America’s dominance of the “space race” by the end of the decade. Although their contributions matched and surpassed many of their associates at that time, respect wasn’t something they garnered among the internal or external community at that point in history.
The film explores the social norms of NASA, which mirrored many communities, government agencies and workplaces of that era in which women, majority and minority, were systematically underappreciated and ostracized. The story was great, the acting was fabulous, and I was swept up even though we all kinda know how America does in the end, right? (Side note: my wife loved the movie! So, I was glad about my pick for date night.)
I’ve had several conversations with myself over the last year or more about where I’ve fallen short in my treatment of friends and family based on factors that have nothing to do with their ability. Fortunately, I haven’t had any one specific moment stick out that I feel I need to go right any wrongs, but, the cultural cloud of judgement can still hang low.
When Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe award in January of 2018 I had my own moment of inspiration that had been incubating for several years. (Watch Oprah’s Speech Here.) It’s time to celebrate the African American woman. It’s time to celebrate all women. It’s time to reveal the #HiddenFigures. But, it’s time to do it in the way that also will makes us all cringe and celebrate at the same time, and force us to remember what they’ve gone through at the hands and whims of an unjust society and culture by bringing several specific voices to life. #MeToo!
It’s time for the next installment of One Voice. One Voice: Ain’t I a Woman? It’s coming in 2019! Learn More about Pre-Booking!