Last weekend, my eight-year-old daughter and I put on all our favorite star-gear and headed to see Hidden Figures with friends.
This movie is EVERYTHING. We laughed, we teared up, we reflected, we smiled.
The absolute best part? It opened doors to conversations.
Here are ten reasons why you must take your own daughter to see this movie---NOW:
1: Civil Rights
We own so many civil rights books, but this brought this era to life. You could watch the emotions of the characters, hear about news stories of that time (specifically lunch counter sit-ins), and watch the characters experience racism (and sexism).
2: American history
I knew a little about space history and exploration from watching a show that was on last year called The Astronaut Wives Club. But that was it. This film presented space/American history in a way that made me want to learn more about a subject I’m normally not interested in. The film integrated footage from real news stories from many years ago.
Women were disposable, yet they did all the “dirty work.” Clearly evident in the reports that our main character, Katherine, typed up. She would type who authored the report: her superior (white male) and herself; and multiple times, the superior ripped off the cover page with the names on it, not to be included when turned submitted.
4: Black Girl Magic
I tell my girls they are magical because they are Black girls. It's IN them. And this film demonstrated this truth---beautifully and historically.
5: Black Girl Joy
There were such incredible moments of victory for the protagnoists of this film, and there was total Black Girl Joy. A shriek. A dance. There's a moment when the three women are struggling with discrimination, and they decide to cut loose, have drinks, and dance together. The dancing-together scene is SO beautiful.
6: Science and Math
STEM and STEAM are all the rage right now, and this movie shows that science and math are not only smart, but they can be cool. And girls and women who are gifted in these areas should not shy away from learning more and using their knowledge.
The Black women in this film have each other's backs. I believe during one part of the film, Octavia Spencer says something about a rising of one woman is a rising for all. Women and girls are often portrayed as catty, bitchy, and competitive (in superficial ways)---but this movie negates that stereotype.
8: Current events.
The opening scene features the three main characters (all Black women) on the side of the road trying to fix their broken-down car. They’re approached by a white police officer…and, yeah. It’s interesting how the things people of color face today aren’t always that different from struggles and challenges of fifty years ago.
The women in the movie dreamed of BIG and HARD things for themselves, some that were unheard of and seemingly impossible. But the goal always starts with a dream.
The women don’t stop at dreaming. One goes to court to petition the judge to attend a segregated school to take night classes to be an engineer. Another teaches herself about technology so she is able to climb the corporate ladder. Another saves the day: literally.
I recommend the following for your kiddos if you'd like to farther their interest in HIDDEN FIGURES (and all the beauty it showcases):
First, create a space-themed rice sensory bin. Instructions on creating a general bin can be found here. Dye your rice black (using grape Kool-aid and black food coloring), and then add in the following accessories:
Add a star cookie cutter and a glass star bowl from your local dollar store, and voila! This was my oldest child's birthday gift last year, and she absolutely loves playing in it. She enjoys hiding and finding the planets, naming the planets, setting up little scenes with the astronauts, sorting the stars by size, etc.
Also, check out these fabulous books:
And these toys/accessories:
And for your little explorer:
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