The Hidden Message of Hidden Figures

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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

Lee Daniels & Danny Strong: Masters of Black Degradation

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The above picture is director/producer Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. This “dynamic duo” is doing everything they can to vilify and destroy the image of black people. Danny Strong is a man of Jewish descent. And of course most of Hollywood is ran and controlled by Jews. So I don’t think Strong is losing any sleep about promoting negative stereotypes of black people. Strong could care less about the plight of black people. But Daniels seems more than happy to help him in his quest. I’ve seen many of Daniels films over the years. He’s directed films like Shadowboxer,The Paperboy,Precious and The Butler. Daniels also produced Monster’s ball and The Woodsman. The Woodsman starred actor Kevin Bacon. It was about a  pedophile trying to “reform”.  Sounds very inspiring right?  Many of his films seem to follow a pattern. They always seem to involve rape,incest,interracial sex,black degradation,colorism,anti-blackness and homosexuality. And many times these subjects are seem in a positive light. It’s like his films are either promoting these things or he’s trying to get us to understand these sexual perversions. I think Daniels is a mentally ill man. I’m not joking. I’m very serious.How can any self respecting black man promote these things? He should be ashamed of himself. This man must be insane!

The screenplay for The Butler was written by Danny Strong. A film that was made to remind us we as black people are still servants in this country. Now Daniels and Strong have teamed up again to bring us the new drama…EMPIRE.

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This show has been getting huge ratings since it premiered a few weeks ago. It stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The negative stereotypes are endless. Terrence plays music mogul Lucious Lyon. And Taraji is his ex wife Cookie. Lucious and Cookie??? Not stereotypical names at all right? But ir doesn’t stop there. He has three sons involved in the company.

His son Andre plays the clean shaven,educated,corny sellout Uncle Tom. Of course he has MUST have a white wife right?

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Then there is Jamal. He is the passionate songwriter. The sensitive misunderstood homosexual son. His gay lover is a Latino man.

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An interracial gay couple! I wonder where Lee Daniels got the idea for that relationship?

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Oh yeah! Never mind.

Lee Daniels was also kind enough to give Gabourey Sibide a part on the show. She most famous for playing the star in the film Precious. She plays the dark skinned overweight,blonde weave wearing assistant for Lucious Lyon.

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Cookie also has an assistant. Her name is Porsha. Played by actress Ta’Rhonda Jones.

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Much like Cookie,Porsha plays a brash,loud mouth ghetto talking black woman. I also noticed that there was a black maid in an episode. She was dark skinned just like Gabourey and Ta’Rhonda. I hope this is not colorism. I hope Daniels is not trying to tell us subliminally that dark skinned people should be seen as servants to others. Of course not! He would never try to brainwash us like that……..would he? Then there is the son,Hakeem. He is the aspiring rapper that wants to please his father. Hakeem is an ignorant,self centered sex- crazed fool. Not much different than his mother Cookie. Even the father Lucious is trying to be a shrewd businessman in the corporate world. But he ends up killing his best friend. So this reinforces the idea that the black man is still a cold blooded killer at heart. This show is NOT good for black people. Everyone is double crossing each other. It paints black people with a broad brush. This is no different than the sick reality shows. Black people must change our way of thinking. We have to stop gravitating towards ignorance and things that put us in a negative light. Danny Strong is a sick,twisted racist man! He knows exactly what he’s doing. What does he know about black life? Not one damn thing!! He’s filled this show with every negative self destructive stereotype of black people you can name. This Jewish man is an enemy to black people. I also suspect he’s a homosexual,which is why he and Daniels promote it so much.

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Lee Daniels is an enemy too. I realize that white supremacy is the REAL enemy. As well as the Jewish controlled media. But the time has come to call out some people. Daniels is a self hating,narcissistic,mentally ill man. And shows like Empire promote black dysfunction as normal. And Lee Daniels and Danny Strong have perfected the art of black misery.Their films and television shows show black people as pitiful,unloved,unworthy and devalued. It’s time to say….NO MORE!!