Essay Example on The movie Hidden Figures was a powerful movie








The movie Hidden Figures was a powerful movie about women who were in NASA and were fighting to put forth their efforts in saving the Space Program This movie portrayed a strong message about a historical struggle of three African American women who faced discrimination working in the West Computing Group of NASA in the 1960s The protagonists Katherine Goble Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson did calculations for the engineers experiments by hand instead of using a calculator They were undermined for their skills because their superiors rejected to acknowledge them as engineers or mathematicians even though they performed all of the calculations necessary before the use of machinery Instead they were dehumanized by the title of computers given to them by the white administration This movie took place during a time where there was still segregation through the Jim Crow laws The women amongst other African Americans were kept at the bottom of the racial hierarchy and experienced many varying degrees of prejudices There was day to day segregation and sexism that happened in the 1960s that was considered normal

During this time President John F Kennedy said that any problem that is man made has a man made solution Hidden Figures exemplified that saving the Space program was substantial enough for removing the prejudices that these women encountered In efforts to save the Space Program social administrative and personal prejudices were overcome through simultaneous act of teleological and deontological reasoning In particular some of the social prejudices that these three women encountered were racism and sexism For example Katherine Goble dealt with racism when working in in the East Computing Group amongst all the white males where she had to drink from a coffee pot designated only for colored workers It is proof that the people of NASA were narrow minded and were not going to let this colored computer go unnoticed of her appearance or her presence in the current work environment where she was not treated as an equal Another racist issue that was common within this facility was separation of bathrooms that made it difficult for people like Katherine to go as she pleased Her only option was to use the West Computing Group bathroom that was half a mile away which took her time away from completing her work This was a daily inconvenience that was unnecessary and time consuming When she was confronted by Mr Harrison she expressed her aggravation and the injustice that the people of her race faced every day 

As a result Mr Harrison realized the effect that this type of prejudice can have on individuals who are hardworking and trying to make it under these restrictions Both of these instances were the types of segregation that needed to be removed to allow women to contribute to the Space Program and be accepted There was also sexism prevalent at NASA that all of the African American women had to face For instance Katherine Goble asked to join a high level briefing to understand better for her calculations but a white male engineer rushed to shut down the idea He said There s no protocol for women attending The white male engineer s response to her efforts undermined her significance as a female This exemplifies sexism because the male engineer wanted to demote her let it be known that women are not held to the same level as men and should not attend the briefing Not recognizing her worth as a mathematician for the sake of the Space Program and only as another woman shows the nonexistent standards that the male engineer is trying to create to stop her from succeeding This prejudice is then overcome when Mr Harrison allowed her to attend the briefings and play her part in the process Speaking up when necessary and doing the work were essential strategies for the colored women working at NASA when dealing with these prejudices Katherine Goble experienced racism and social prejudices that were overcome later on when Mr Harrison removed the labels At this particular time NASA suspended some of its racist and sexist behavior 

Therefore for women of color in the Jim Crow era it was a double jeopardy dealing with race and gender in the workplace Furthermore there were many personal and administrative prejudices that added to the struggles of colored women at NASA A personal prejudice that is represented in this movie was an instance where one of the white women that worked in the East Computing Group Mrs Mitchell had to recruit another human computer from the West Computing Group specifically colored women to help with the calculations Mrs Mitchell said Didn t think I d come all the way down here This indicates the fact that she does not think of the colored women as the equals that they deserve to be viewed as to conquer the prejudices for the success of the Space Program With these personal differences put aside the contributions as a tolerant group would be more prosperous Hidden Figures depicts administrative prejudice when Mr Harrison constantly gave Katherine stacks of work to do knowing that she was incapable of providing an accurate completion of the work without updated information described in the meetings Mr Harrison did not include her specifically in the briefings even though that could have helped her catch up with the information needed for the calculations This instance demonstrated prejudice because he excluded Katherine on the basis that she is a woman and African American The prejudices would eventually be overcome through her inclusion in the briefings In order to be successful there was a need for Katherine s help and a national prejudice needed to be overlooked to achieve NASA s utmost goal

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