Taking the students in the SOC Mentoring program* to see the movie Hidden Figures was a great way to provide the group with a shared experience outside of school. The movie told the story of some of America’s unsung heroes. It also served as a way to inspire our students to learn more about the contributions of people of color in all areas of U.S. history and around the world.
After seeing the movie, we spent time at our next mentoring session discussing it. There were so many wonderful thoughts and ideas shared during our discussion that we felt compelled to write them down. These notes turned into movie reviews that students wanted to share with the wider community. The students hoped that others would want to go and see an amazing, untold story. Some of the best movies I have ever seen have been recommended by a friend. The fifth-grade Students of Color Mentoring program wanted to make a recommendation to their friends in the GDS community:
I really like this movie because it told me a story that I never knew about. It was about three African-American women who helped put a man in space and orbit around the moon. I say that because, in the movie, Taraji P. Henson played a character that I could imagine in real life. She played a woman who has been through a lot, raising three children, losing a husband, and living in a segregated community. She felt like I think anyone would feel with all the emotion she portrayed in this character, as if she was actually Katherine Johnson.
My evidence is this one scene where she got mad because she had to walk nearly a half a mile away from the West Campus, the place where she worked, just to go to the bathroom. She showed the frustration and anger that she was being treated differently. Her boss ended up taking down all the “colored” bathroom signs and it changed her experience. Her tone was firm and it sounded like she was going to explode, but that made me like the movie even more.
I recommend this movie to everyone ages 8 and up because it is a really inspiring and it will help you learn more about black history! –Adara
Hidden Figures was a great movie. What was most interesting to me about the movie was that the white people gave the person who played the woman who had a job at a white building a lot of papers. While I was watching the movie I felt so bad for the black people who lived through this. I was so glad we don’t live through this sad tragedy. The movie was so great that I could see it three times. –Charles
I think Hidden Figures is a great movie. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. One way the movie stood out to me was that Katherine Johnson was really brave and persevered and then she got rewarded for that. I also liked when Katherine Johnson’s boss knocked down colored and white signs for the bathrooms. The cinematography I thought was amazing and all the actors did an excellent job. I thought that the lighting was amazing too. I think people should see Hidden Figures, but the language is not always so nice. –Ella
The movie “Hidden Figures” was very inspiring. The movie shows how Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson fought discrimination, stereotypes, and racism. The only bad part was when the flight was going on; also many of the people back on earth were shown rather than John Glenn. Otherwise, the script and acting were amazing. The film looked like it was during the actual original events! I give it a 4.8 out of 5 rating. –Robert
I thought this movie was very good! I loved how there were three untold stories of women in a professional field where men dominated. I loved how the movie made you think deeper about this issue. The most memorable scene of the whole movie was when Glenn Powell (who played John Glenn) was the only astronaut who shook hands with the African Americans. I remember how the whites were standing in a group together no more than a couple feet away from where the black women were standing together. If I could change one thing about the movie, I would have liked some more exciting music when the Friendship 7 was taking off. It seemed pretty mellow. Overall, this movie was amazing. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. –Juni
“Hidden Figures” was a great movie. The movie was based in the 1960s and was about three very inspiring women who were smart and really worked hard. The movie focused on how people can do anything if they put their mind to it. My favorite character was Katherine Johnson because she was well portrayed. This story included a lot of detail and emotion. My favorite scene was when Katherine Johnson was yelling at the people in the launch and landing room. She explained that she had to walk half a mile just so she could use the bathroom. She also mentioned how she had to drink coffee from a pot that said coloreds only. One more thing Katherine mentioned is how she can’t get pearls with a lower income although she has the same job as white males. This was a “see it a million times” movie; I give it 10/10. — Romine
“Hidden Figures” was an amazing movie. The actors were the best they could be, especially the actress who played Katherine Johnson. I felt like it was happening right in front of my eyes. When I was watching the movie, I was thinking how lucky I was not to have lived through that time period. The lighting was good, and you could hear the actors very clearly. I give the movie 5 stars. –Lina
*The SOC Mentoring Program is open to all students of color in grades 5–8. The term “Students of Color” includes children from Black/African American, Asian/Asian American, Middle-Eastern American, American Indian/Native American, Latino/Hispanic, and Multiracial backgrounds.
During SOC sessions, students openly discuss their experiences and concerns as members of the GDS community. Students are organized into family groups with students from different grade levels and at least one faculty member in each “family.”
Through whole-group and small group activities, students build a support network among their peers and create a forum in which they can share their thoughts and ideas. Students share their successes and accomplishments and learn how to use one another as resources in approaching challenges and developing effective problem-solving strategies.