The Hidden Message of Hidden Figures


It seems most fitting to begin this piece by stating that mathematician Katherine Johnson is a genius. Thus, a movie celebrating black brilliance sounds progressive, however the actual portrayal renders Johnson a “hidden figure” in a supposed commemoration of her legacy.

The film briefly shows audiences a young Katherine, whose academic ability foments opportunity despite the obvious oppression of the early 20th century. The film attempts to inspire audiences though depicting Johnson’s contribution to launching the first American body into space. However, in actuality Hidden Figures illustrates that black brilliance yields white advancement.

Audiences watch Johnson put in long hours, travel forty minutes to use the bathroom and endure a segregated coffee machine. Subversively, the film suggests that the only place for  a black intellect is in a white world. This conflict is not exclusive to this film, but extended to all encompassed by the phrase “the first black (fill in the blank)” While this phrasing appears complimentary, it shifts the focus away from the individual of African descent to the white vessel who “accepts” them.

In Hidden Figures, this white vessel is Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy scenes is Costner breaking down the segregated restroom signs. The scene received zealous plaudits from a stadium sized theatre. This applause undoubtedly erupted due to the mostly white audience’s attempt to overtly align themselves with Harrison’s seemingly integrative initiative. For me, this scene provoked an adverse reaction.

Watching this scene brought me back to a Dr. Carr lecture I attended almost a decade ago. During this lecture, Dr. Carr said that “nothing has been done for blacks that did not benefit others.” Namely, these segregated signs existed at NASA although there were no no black individuals worked in this particular wing. Thus, the signs served no direct purpose but to remind those who cleaned the facilities that they were good enough to scrub toilets but not sit on them. Thus, Harrison’s acts are not commendable—they’re selfish. This very deed exposes the fault in integration. The segregated bathroom only becomes an issue when it deterred white initiative. Namely, only when segregation proved an obstacle to his advancement and reputation was it taken down. It is this selfishness, not ideas of equality or unity, that continues to fuel black inclusion in traditionally white spaces.

Before concluding this article, I would like to state that my criticism is not to take away from Mrs. Katherine Johnson’s legacy. This article does function to state that this film is not an accurate depiction of this legacy. I would love to have learned more about her life pre-Nasa, the parents who raised her, her experience at school, how she balanced motherhood and work, and the strength it took to raise three young kids as a young widow. Hidden Figures abbreviates Mrs. Johnson’s life, making her a largely enigmatic figure in a film that is seemingly about her. Johnson’s hidden figure status in her own film suggests that all black excellence yields hidden figure status in a white supremacist society. In veiling sentiments of deprived visibility, the film highlights how imperative it is that we as black tell “our story” and not his-story. For the moral of the story is not Johnson’s greatness, but what history continually tells in in films like 42, The Blind Side and The Help, which is simply that blacks can do anything if whites think they are special.

Article by C.C. Saunders

41 thoughts on “The Hidden Message of Hidden Figures

  1. I totally agree. I just saw the film yesterday, with my mom. While my mom exclaimed “you go girl!!” and “gone sista!”…..I knew better, and was decoding the whole thing, disgusted by the white supremacist subs.

    My main take and the overall message with films like these is –“look how far we’ve come”, to show how things “used to be”, a supposed contrast to today. Its a con to make whites and blacks feel that times are different now. They always use the good cop bad cop routine with these race movies. Costner’s character, the most powerful person at the space program, was painted in a very benevolent light. As stoic, neutral. The woman played by kirsten dunst, was shown as being mostly professional, just detached. The scene where mrs goble was finally let into the trajectory briefings, and the astronaut john glen grinned and gave her approval.
    And yes, the scene when costner broke down the sign, I rolled my eyes so hard, LoL. I agree it was selfish, and totally about showcasing white men’s sensibility and progress–as was the opening scene with the state trooper. There was the scene where the astronauts shook the sista’s hands and smiled at them–maybe that happen, but the point is, the narrative of the movie.
    This film was ALL about how far whites have come, how it was only a few of them that were racist, how most of them were progressive-minded and how they ALLOWED racism to be eradicated and how they led the way because they were about progress.

    Before john glen (i hope im not getting the astronauts names mixed up) took off, and he said “im not launching until the girl checks the figures”
    “What girl?”
    “The smart one”
    Lol, you know good and goddamn well he never said that. If he thought of her at all, he probably said “what about that nigger?”. But likely, it was the white men who ran to get her, because they didnt have a choice.

    Janell Monae calling one of the astronauts “sexy”, –yeah right. They had to interject some bed wenching, hey why not.

    And of course theres the subliminal that education and being respectful will lift us above white supremacy.

    • Very nice breakdown KJ! This is obviously more race propaganda. This is not a “feel good” film for black people. And of course the white savor complex has to be in there. And I’m not surprised the black women in the film found the white men attractive. They always want to brainwash us into loving our oppressors. That’s the best way to confuse the oppressed. We should be hip to that by now.

  2. During the previews, octavia spencer plays a mammy to some little white girl prodigy. That was a quid pro quo for “giving” black people hidden figures. Gotta bring us back down.

    There was another film preview where some african royalty falls in love with a hard faced old looking white woman, and takes her back home to africa and chooses her over his people and country. I wanted to vomit. It was just too much…lol

    • They love having black women play mammies. That’s one of their favorite stereotypes. Not surprised at all. Yes I saw the preview for that interracial love story last year. It’s called A United Kingdom. When I saw he chose a white woman over his country…I was blown away!lol This is the type of anti-black,race mixing bullshit Hollywood loves to give us. They will give us this film but not a film about the Haitian Revolution. These white folks know that films are tools for brainwashing. And I agree with you,I wanted to puke after seeing this too.

    • It really is. Films like this are very deceptive. It makes black people believe we are making progressive. It’s all about white acceptance NOT black greatness. These are the type of films that win Oscars. It’s the same old game.

  3. I don’t go to movies anymore,but once again, you can’t go to a black movie, and not find some kind of white heroship or some sympathy for wp. But like Denzel says,we can’t give up.Kushite,as I stated before, it is imperative that we get the Haitian Revolution movie to the big screen, and it told through our eyes.But if you want to see black people as they truly are ,I suggest watching programs on PBS, at least they tell the truth. GOD BLESS

    • Yes I agree. The Haitian revolution would be great to see! I think a lot of people would support that. But of course we know Zionist Hollywood doesn’t support films about black people overcoming their oppression. So it will have to be funded by us,written by us and directed by US.

  4. White Hollywood is always going to have too make theirselves be the great white hope in movies pertaining to black people especially our history.

  5. This is a true movie. The main protagonist is still alive and had a sound mind at the time book was written. Movie is based off book which is written by a black woman. You guys are being distracted here by know tropes. Keep it moving. The bigger picture and the bigger conversation should be is these black women including the collective group were instrumental in getting rockets in space. They were instrumental in teaching white males and females. Regardless of these tropes e.g. white savior you can not take away those facts.

    • I think you’re missing the bigger picture Akosua. These tropes must be exposed otherwise I do you know you’re being duped. And I have talked to many black people that don’t even notice these tropes. These tropes reinforce white supremacy and keeps black people asleep. So we are not being distracted, we are AWAKE. Maybe you should read the review again.

      • 1st, I’m not being duped. Very aware. 2nd, my first response ever on this site was not thorough. I wanted to make a quick observation which I still stand by. But yes, I agree with you these critiques must always highlight white supremacist psychological tacticts esp for our people w/o this insight . But we as a people must stop in our critique of our experiences only magnifying the ‘woe is me’ but begin simualtanouesly to magnify how our true narratives are empowering. In other words , when I watched the movie (twice) , I extracted the undeniable excellence and brilliance of the women . I extracted the perseverance of these women despite the obstructionist racism of the white people. I extracted that the US space exploration would not have happened during that time w/o these brilliant black women. And I don’t care how the white man positions himself as the savior those women’s intellect and talents were a product of their genius and not some outside agency. This is what I mean we must take away from this movie. Trust me, this did not escape non black people who saw the movie. And I’m sad to say, this line of discussion is not found on some of the black sites. And you be careful about reading reviews. Some are there to facitlitate our distraction. I’m competent enough to review and interpret what is placed before me.

      • That’s cool man. I can respect that. It’s just that here on my blog we use an analytical eye on films and televisions shows. We don’t gloss over things involving white supremacy. And I’ve had many of my subscribers tell me I made them see things from a different perspective. So that’s the purpose of my blog. I want to awaken black people that are still in zombie mode. My job is to expose the white racists tactics to those that can’t quite see it. I can still watch a film and enjoy it for what it is. Once you’re somewhat conscious you can watch a film but still know the minds games that are being played. But I know what you’re trying to say. A lot of people feel that way. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I dont know what a trope is. But realize afroparenting that 99% of black people dont have your insight. Subliminals are a far more powerful form of communication than overt messages, and they are dangerous.
    I’m so glad I got to learn about these black female prodigies that, against all odds, put all those white men to shame intellectually. And I wouldnt have heard about them without this film being made. But as history has taught us again and again, jew hollyweird will never ever create a product that doesn’t have a net negative effect on the black psyche. They are masters of deception. For every little feelgood moment they gave us, best believe there is 15 negative subtle messages that the average black person will absorb into their subconscious and carry for the rest of their lives, unless they are made aware of its existence.

  7. When you hink you know …….even more layers to this psycholgical sniper attack.
    NASA was founded by a team secreted out of Nazi Germany at the end of the war. That team was made up of secret ultra racist occult members of the Vril Society and SS Knights of Black Sun. Their leaders were some of the most sadistic and satanic servants of Satan who, along with their research, were smuggled into the US instead of facing trial for war crimes. They brought all their ideology with them but all this has been buried in rewritten history. The ‘Hidden Figures’ are therefore not only the poor duped black women working towards what they thought would be a noble cause. Oh how they love to mock us. They throw out a bone which they know that many of the target audience will not recognise for its covert messaging of white supremacy, let alone look deeper. So the film also celebrates those ‘hidden figures’ who were the founders of NASA. Typical Hollyweird sickos. Don’t allow yourselves to be psychological and spiritual casualties. We are at war!!

    Read more: ‘The movie Hidden Figures and hidden agendas, Nazis, Vril and pizzagate

    • Yes that’s true Razor. Prince ray has a great blog. He has a wealth of knowledge to share. He digs deeper than most people do. He sees the esoteric meaning behind the scenes and he’s great at connecting dots. I have chatted with him many times. I shared that post on Twitter. More people need to check out his blog. They don’t know how DEEP the mind control is on black people.

      • I read his blog and have shared it a few times, but lets be honest, most people are not going to read through his long posts. So now I just read them myself and don’t share it.

      • That’s the sad part about it. He has such great information and too many people have short attention spans. This is why so many people don’tread books or the newspapers as much anymore. I’m a avid reader myself. I have read most of Prince ray’s posts. That are very insightful and give you a better idea on how we are all being manipulated by the racist powers that be. I still share reblog nd share is posts as much as possible. I do my best to put out helpful information…even if it falls on deaf ears. It’s our duty as truth seekers to educate our people. That’s why I appreciate when people share my posts. We all have to do our part. Too many people in this world are in a zombie state of mind.

  8. I watched this movie a few days ago and I was mixed with emotions. These three women were dealing with obstacles, and you were right about one thing: Only if the white men, for example Johnson has his boss, Al Harrison, The Engineer who has to seek approval from the Judge to go back to College, and the Computer Wiz who have to have a chance, with two of the dumbasses who didn’t know how this big IBM computer works (Sorry, I didn’t remember the names of these ladies). Just remember, these women were faced with the barriers of the Pre-Civil Rights era. It is a positive and inspiring movie

    • The film had it’s good points and bad points. That’s why it’s so controversial for many of us who see the negative subliminal messages in it. It’s inspiring from a certain perspective.

      • Don’t get me wrong on this, but I understand your views about the whole movie. You wish these women could be independent from the shackles of the white dominance. But during that era, the pre-civil rights era it was like or either use your smarts to pull it off in order to get what they want, or walk in regret. These women did and example, they didn’t back down, they didn’t felt sorry for themselves, they just use their smarts and wit to conquer it. Perhaps in real life it was more cruel than in the movie. But movies who always say “based in real events” adds the drama, and certain events not based, for the wow effect.

    • She’s a great writer. One of my favorites on WordPress. Not surprised most of the audience was white. This film promotes integration and makes whites feel good. This is typical if you know the history of Hollywood. They are masters of deception.

  9. I have to go back to your piece on Umar Johnson. I am running short for time. But I thought that the movie was good. Maybe I took it a different way. I took it as the writer even though he is white, was showing how foul, nasty, ignorant, vicious and evil white people are. I know that there is much more to her legacy but until we write our own movies and TV shows then build our own theatres, we have to expect for them to keep doing it for us.

  10. I have yet to see this film, but after reading KJ’s break down I have no interest in seeing it. In fact I am hardly interested in anything Hollywhite puts out these days..

  11. I have not seen this film but I do think younger BW should see it if it encourages them to go into the STEM field, other than that, im quite sure there is a bunch of white supremacist bs in there.

  12. Until Black people reclaim their authority and majesty from this cave beast; we will continue to endure these pathetic insults on or culture and race. It’s time to stop being nice. These people don’t need prayer; they deserve to be killed!

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