Monday, November 28, 2016

Hidden Figures: Meet Medal of Freedom winner Katherine Johnson played by Taraji P. Henson


I shared the first trailer for Hidden Figures back in August, after that it was out of sight, out of mind. Now with the new year approaching I’ll be putting it on the must see list. Not because it’s a great movie—which it may be—or because I read the book—I didn’t—but because Hidden Figures reveals the roles some extraordinary real world black women played in the race to the moon.

These are math science brainiacs who because of their color were kept in segregated workspaces from their white counterparts. Secretaries and clerical positions aside, women of any color weren’t exactly welcome in many businesses, and black women had it especially tough.



Take a look at this featurette introducing NASA’s Katherine Johnson, the main real world character in ‘Hidden Figures’ played by Taraji P. Henson. President Obama awarded Johnson the Medal of Freedom award in 2015, the highest award a civilian can receive.

Based on the book documenting the important contributions made by Katherine Johnson and her colleagues—Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly—the movie also stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Morae and comes out January 6th. The soundtrack comes via Pharrell Williams and veteran composer Hans Zimmer.




Watch the Hidden Figures trailer

I’ll be honest, to my mind Henson is a little too glam to play Johnson— she does try to downplay it but the woman can’t help being voluptuous. I would have loved to see Loving’s Ruth Negga take on the role. Am I right or am I right?



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