Oscar nominations came out yesterday, and it was heartening to see some very good films rewarded. One of those, Hidden Figures—about the huge contributions of African American women to the NASA space program—received three well-deserved nominations, including Best Picture, and has turned out to be a box office hit. Let's look at some of the reasons why, with publishing in mind.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a screening of 21st Century Fox’s “Hidden Figures.” This is a great movie about the critical contributions made by three African-American women – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson - to put John Glenn into space in the early 1960s. The movie depicts the struggles these women faced to be treated equally as the consummate professionals they were at a time when the state of Virginia still enforced segregation laws. It is a wonderful and uplifting story about a mostly unexplored but important dimension of American history. Go see it!
There is an interesting sub-plot to the movie, which has to do with the usually somewhat dry – at least on the big screen - topic of automation and jobs. Johnson, Vaughn and Jackson were hired by NASA to be human “computers.” Part of Johnson’s job was to calculate John Glenn’s exact landing zone in ...