#HiddenFiguresParty + ticket giveaway

Kathleen Posted by Kathleen at January 3, 2017 15:08:03 January 3, 2017 15:08:03

The cast of Hidden Figures received the Best Ensemble Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival last night. The film opens everywhere Friday. We’ve been yelling at you for months to make plans to go see this movie. In August, I geeked out over the debut trailer’s blatant celebration of black girl brilliance. I’m not going to stop yelling at you. Movies about smart, capable women who changed history are few. Movies about the smart, capable BLACK women who made invaluable contributions to American history are nonexistent. Janelle Monae told Entertainment Weekly that these women were “true American heroes.” Especially when it comes to space exploration, those three words are usually reserved for white guys named Neil or Buzz. Those guys are the heroes, right? Well, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are the names Hidden Figures is going to make sure we remember.

Johnson, played by Taraji P Henson, is the last living of the three women featured in Hidden Figures. I love what she said to the film’s director about being the subject of a big film with Oscar potential.

“I don’t know why you’re making a movie about me. I just did my work.”

She just did the work. She did the work in impossible circumstances – when she had to walk across campus to the colored restrooms and do her work in segregated spaces from her peers. These three women, held together by friendship and genius, just did their work. It’s hard not to get emotional just thinking of their incredible story. When Lainey wrote about the film’s first industry screenings in November, she noted how passionate the immediate response was from critics. She also said she wanted seeing this movie to become an event, a #HiddenFiguresParty. Well we’re going this weekend. The party is already happening. Since its limited release on Christmas day, there have been free screenings across America for young girls to see Hidden Figures. When I think of the young women who will recognize their genius because they get to see this film it makes me so f-cking happy I could cry.

Taraji P Henson said it best at a press conference for the film that:

“When I was growing up, no one ever said to me, ‘You can’t do math because you’re a girl.’ But there was an understanding; you just grew up thinking math and science were for boys. Somebody lied to me, because this woman exists. All these women existed. I made it my mission to do this film, because I didn’t want another girl to grow up believing that lie.”

So many of us can relate to this. Growing up, I didn’t know I was capable of being the smartest kid in the class. Black girls could be loud and obnoxious, funny sidekicks or pretty props but never smart. This is why representation matters. If you take away someone’s belief that they can achieve, there’s a good chance they won’t even try. 20th Century Fox has teamed up with Black Girls CODE to create FutureKatherineJohnsons.com to encourage young girls of colour to pursue careers in tech and innovation. Hidden Figures’ message is all about inspiring girls to believe they can be mathematicians, scientists, programmers and engineers but it’s also about recognizing the women who already do the damn thing and get erased from the narrative. They aren’t hidden anymore. Let’s make sure their story is SEEN and makes a sh-t ton of money at the box office this weekend, OK?

I’m going to make it really easy for you. We’re giving away 5 pairs of tickets in CANADA to see Hidden Figures– consider it your official RSVP to the party. All you have to do is e-mail [email protected] with #HIDDENFIGURESPARTY as the subject by midnight tomorrow. Winners will be selected by random draw. Click here for Contest Terms. Good luck! Whether you win or not, and whether you’re in Canada or not, please support this film. Take your mom. Take your girlfriends. Take your daughters. Take everybody. GO SEE HIDDEN FIGURES THIS WEEKEND.

Photos:
Jeffrey Mayer/ David Livingston/ Jon Kopaloff/ Getty Images

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