"The Dog Will Die," the British Press.
# 1 Support & Respect for Laika
The Moscow stray dog was selected for her calm personality and tiny size. Laika’s space vessel, Sputnik 2, went into orbit in 1957 as the US fell further behind the Soviet Union in space exploration. Originally reported that Laika had survived nearly two weeks and then died painlessly, according to testimony in recent years the little dog suffered heat exhaustion and stress causing her to die within hours of take-off. The movie Hidden Figures has one scene in which the characters at NASA grumble at a news release about the dog’s launch. Laika was one of 36 dogs sent into space by the Soviets during this time period.
# 2 Calculating History Genre
Taking place in 1961 thru 1962, the film highlights everyday obstacles for a person of color such as getting to the bathroom, using a water fountain and having a cup of coffee. Hidden Figures echoes the depth of tribulations all women faced during the 1960’s chauvinist atmosphere. During the course of the story we catch a glimpse of white male co-workers struggling with the blatant inequality they have little control over. At one point Kevin Costner playing VIP Al Harrison, dismantles a sing above the bathroom door that reads Colored in front of a group of NASA employees.
Image: Katherine G. Johnson receiving NASA award.
# 3 Shoot for The Stars Kind of Characters
Katherine G. Johnson entered West Virginia University at the age of fifteen. She had past her older brother by two grades and held mathematics by the horn. Securing a teaching position out of college she was soon informed that the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia had posted a job search for female mathematicians.
# 4 Skirts and Glasses Backdrop
Hidden Figures may seem, but certainly is not historical fiction. The story is true and depicts the African American female breaking boundaries and roles. Set in a time when a girl, even a white girl, was anticipated to move seamlessly from existing as their father’s daughter, to their husband’s wife and finally to their babies’ mother. Human computers they were, black and white women crunching numbers for what would become NASA. Katherine Johnson was one of the first women to be part of the space workforce. Author Margot Lee Shetterly draws upon details of Katherine’s career at the space center along with several other prominent Afro American women who worked at the center during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
# 5 Slice of the Pie Finale
Hidden Figures resonates with female tussles for equality. These women persisted without any recognition, that is until now. The film is a must see for anyone interested in egalitarianism, work-place justice and the space program that sent us to the moon.
Contributed by Dennise Heckman
February 2, 2017
The majority of our Blog updates are written by Winn-Dixie our resident West Highland White Terrier. Her Blog entries are titled, "It's a Westie Life."