My husband and I went to see this film Saturday evening, and it was SO good! It is literally the most inspiring movie I've seen in a long time, and I saw Collateral Beauty in December. It's the story of Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Goble Johnson, and Mary Jackson, who were integral parts of launching John Glenn into orbit in 1962.
The movie stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae as the main characters, and they did a fantastic job capturing the spirit of the incredible woman behind the story.
As far as film goes: I loved the soundtrack! The costumes were fabulous. I mean, I would wear everything that Janelle Monae wears in this movie in a heartbeat. The cinematography was wonderful, and the acting was superb! I would pay to go see it again in theaters, it was that enjoyable to watch.
But more importantly, I want to talk about the women that this film is about...
These women worked for NACA (later to become NASA) at a time when segregation was still very much alive. Not only were opportunities not given to people of color, but opportunities for working outside of the home weren't given to many women in general. Dorothy, Katherine and Mary were in an extremely small minority of educated black women who worked in a white-collar profession.
They paved the way not just for black women, but for women of all races. They proved that women were worth more than getting married and having babies (even though those are incredible accomplishments too). They proved that women of color were just as smart (if not smarter) than any white man. They are an inspiration to little girls everywhere that you can do and be anything you want in life if you work hard enough, and despite the odds not being in your favor.
It was hard to watch how Mary, Katherine, and Dorothy had to deal with segregation. I am so incredibly thankful that I grew up in an age where segregation is dead, though racism and racial tension are still very much alive. I am thankful that I was able to go to college wherever I please. I am thankful to these women for paving the way for future women of color who are brilliant and just as capable as anyone else.
We still have a long way to go in this country before women of color are seen as truly equal to anyone else. But I'm proud of the black heritage that came before me. Dorothy, Mary, and Katherine paved the way for generations of women, and I am so proud, humbled, and thankful that they were willing to be the "first."