HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of Astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
I had seen the previews but I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to represent B.O.S.S. Magazine at a screening with 100 black girls from all over Atlanta. Imagine watching 100 underprivileged and invited young black girls from all over the Atlanta area coming together to watch the movie. Imagine seeing beautiful young girls ranging from ages 5 to 21 in the same room for the same reason. Imagine being able to see the rainbow of our different shades of beautiful, black girls together. Imagine seeing girls of different religious beliefs in the same room for the same purpose. The high I felt was already at an unexplainable level from the lobby even before I stepped into the theater itself.
All of this because a woman named Ashley Nealy, who decided to take a chance on her idea and put together an event for girls who may not have had a chance to see the movie. All because of her passion for her career field in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) , she wanted to let young black girls see that anything and all things are possible and give them other options in fields that are often overlooked. She reached out to her social media family and asked them to donate money so that she could take girls to the viewing of Hidden Figures and purchase drinks and popcorn for them. She received such an unexpected positive response that she was able to open up the invitation to other girl’s organizations and little girls who were interested in seeing the movie.
To be in a movie theater of a bunch of girls clapping and cheering on the actresses for every single significant moment in the movie was a priceless experience that truly needed to be videotaped. Such a powerful movie and it was filled with black girls who were encouraged and motivated because Ashley Nealy had a vision and stepped out on faith to accomplish it. They say that one person can’t change the world, maybe not but they surely can make a difference. Kudos to Ashley and all the people who donated or volunteered to make the #100HiddenFigures Movement a success.
Story by LaTonya Mechelle
Photos by: Candace Bazemore and Carinum LLC