Monday Open Thread | 2017 Oscar Nominated – Hidden Figures


I have seen Hidden Figures four times. Peanut has seen it twice.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Hidden Figures is the story of three Black women: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson- three brilliant women who worked at NASA during its beginnings -in the height of the Space Race between the United States and the USSR.

I get something different each time that I watch the movie.

What drew me in was the story itself. All of us learned about the Space Race when we were in school. Yet, this history – their participation, and the EXISTENCE of these women was complete erased from history – until now. I guess my continued fascination goes hand in hand with that. I consider myself educated. Not only in books, but I grew up in a house where my parents supplied me with Black History that was never taught in school. And, I’m still mad. Mad that I went through grammar school, high school, college AND graduate school, and I had no idea that these women existed.

When Bletchley Circle came out a few years ago on PBS, I looked them up and was fascinated by British female codebreakers.

But, the thought that there were Black women, called Human Computers, that had been in existence by the then War Department during WWII, and beyond?
No idea.

These women were brilliant in a time where to be brilliant and a woman was to be ignored. To be brilliant and Black was to be ignored. So, to be Black and Woman during this time. Fighting to just prove that yes, we belong here, I am in awe of these women. The daily fights that they had to go through, just to do their job. A job where someone else almost always put THEIR name onto THESE WOMEN’S WORK AND TOOK CREDIT FOR IT.

And, they did it for less pay – both as a woman, and a Black.

I don’t want to give any spoilers out, because, I think that you will enjoy this movie with your entire family.

I do realize my favorite scene in the movie.


This image of Octavia Spencer’s character Dorothy Vaughan, leading her girls from the segregated outpost where they were relegated to….to the main building makes me tear up each time. Dorothy Vaughan could anticipate the future, and how she had to stay ahead of the game. But, she didn’t think in terms of ‘me’….she thought in terms of ‘ US’- and lifted them all as they went forward into the future.


Each of these women were remarkable, and they didn’t shy away from the obstacles placed in their path. They found a way to plow them down.

I’m so happy that this movie, and the book were done. Get the book for your personal library. Take your family. Take the youth-so that they can see that our place is EVERYWHERE….and, that it’s always been EVERYWHERE. There is no part of the American story where BLACK PEOPLE HAVE NOT CONTRIBUTED.


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25 Responses to Monday Open Thread | 2017 Oscar Nominated – Hidden Figures

  1. rikyrah says:

    This gave me stomach cramps from laughing so hard.

    Confession: I Went On 2.5 Dates With A Hotep And Lived To Tell The Tale
    Jordan Kauwling, 2/2/2017


    Three weeks went by and I hadn’t heard from him. No calls. No texts.
    Not even a “wyd?” message on gchat. (For the youths out there, “gchat” is where women of the aughts went to get unsolicited and poorly-lit dick pics before Snapchat was invented.) I had decided it was best to move on when out of the blue he called me.

    “Good Morning my beautiful Nubian Queen. How is life?” he exclaimed.

    “Hey {through bites of Popeye’s biscuit} “Me? Life is great! How are things on your end my…um…Onyx…uh…Sith Lord,” I retorted.

    We did the small talk thing for a few minutes and then decided to go
    on date number three later that week. This time a real King James
    version-arsed date complete with dinner, drinks and dancing afterwards
    at Philly’s now-defunct Club Fluid. I showed up wearing an outfit that I thought screamed, “I’m auditioning to be an extra in the Beyonce’s
    “Diva” video but I do read books on occasion.” He came wearing a black ninja shirt and and culottes that looked to be made out of hemp and no “ninja” is not a euphemism for the n-word. This nigga was really dressed like we were going to fight Cobra-Kai in a poppy field somewhere. I was so confused. Here I was under the impression we were on a date and this dude was gearing up to fight Sub-Zero.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Foreign Policy Via Fake News and Propaganda
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 6, 2017 4:07 PM

    Let this one sink in for a moment: last week the President of the United States posted a fake news story on his Facebook account

    At 12:25 p.m. on February 2, President Trump posted a story on his official Facebook page which contended that Kuwait issued a visa ban for five Muslim-majority countries…

    It has some 250,000 likes,over 68,000 shares, and was picked up by Breitbart and Infowars. But there’s one problem: Kuwait denies that anything of this sort ever took place.

    You would think that a POTUS would have access to information preventing him from posting fake news about a foreign country. But I suppose that would require running things by people in places like the State Department or this country’s intelligence services. Why bother with that when a fake news site posted something that supports your recent visa ban?

    But the issue is actually more serious than that. It appears as though the people surrounding Trump join him in buying into fake news as propaganda.

    In reporting on what Trump’s foreign policy might be beyond walls and bans, Julie Pace got a scoop on something Josh Marshall described as “deeply disturbing.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    Michael Wolff Suggests the Media Is Having a Nervous Breakdown Over Trump
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 6, 2017 1:05 PM

    I have to admit that I found Michael Wolff’s column about Steve Bannon in The Hollywood Reporter to be informative. With that said, let’s hope the media doesn’t listen to what he wrote in Newsweek about why they keep losing to Donald Trump, or what he said to Brian Stelter yesterday.

    First of all, given this president’s abysmal approval ratings, it is not clear that the media is losing anything by fact-checking the administration, except in the minds of Trump’s most avid supporters. But as Wolff told Stelter, he thinks the media is having a nervous breakdown over Trump and should instead be covering him like they would any other new president, despite the fact that he lies prolifically, has business arrangements that present conflicts of interest and faces unanswered accusations of being blackmailed by Vladimir Putin. That makes this situation unprecedented and the media would be remiss to pretend otherwise.

    During the interview, Wolff’s fluff piece on Kellyanne Conway came up. Here’s how he described her infatuation with “alternative facts.”

    And while the “alternative facts” statement might seem like a catastrophic error of credibility — a few days later she was walking it back, rephrasing it as “alternative information” and “incomplete information” — it was the kind of challenge-me-if-you-can, chin-forward taunt, rendered with ladylike composure, that the new president has come to love her for.

    Given that the interview with Stelter came a few days after her latest rollout of alternative facts, one can only assume that if Conway had told Wolff the lies about how Obama banned Iraqi refugees due to the Bowling Green massacre, he would be equally impressed with her “ladylike composure” while doing so.

    Wolff suggested that by fact-checking this administration, the credibility of the media becomes a problem. So it’s interesting to note how he opened his piece in Newsweek.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Gorsuch’s Praise of David Sentelle Should Concern You
    by Martin Longman
    February 6, 2017 3:31 PM

    President Trump has selected federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court seat that ought to have gone to Merrick Garland. Now, some people, including Neal Katyal, who served under President Barack Obama as acting Solicitor General, have said glowing things about Mr. Gorsuch. But I have some concerns.

    As a young lawyer, Gorsuch held three prestigious clerkships. He clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also clerked for David Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. When Gorsuch spoke during the announcement of his nomination, he went out of his way to praise these three mentors, and he praised Sentelle in particular who was present for the ceremony.

    “If you’ve ever met Judge David Sentelle, you’ll know just how lucky I was to land a clerkship with him right out of school,” Gorsuch said, nodding in Sentelle’s direction.

    Sentelle, if you recall, had his confirmation to the DC Circuit held up for months over his refusal to disassociate himself from “from private clubs that did not admit blacks or women.” Maybe you remember how he used his position to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter at the tail end of the Iran-Contra Affair. You could even remember how he upheld (and was subsequently overruled by the Supreme Court) President George W. Bush’s suspension of habeas corpus in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

    Or, perhaps, like me, his name is etched in your memory because of the conspiracy he engaged in with Sens. Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina to fire Whitewater investigator Robert B. Fiske Jr. and replace him with Kenneth Starr.

    I’ll go over that conspiracy in a moment, but I want to dwell on Sentelle’s connections to Jesse Helms for a moment. Hopefully, you don’t need to remember Helms’s notoriously racist White Hands 1990 political advertisement to know that he was a reactionary and bigoted hold out against the desegregation of the South. He was bad enough that David Broder (usually the paragon of civility) took the opportunity of his death to excoriate him for “his willingness to pick at the scab of the great wound of American history, the legacy of slavery and segregation, and to inflame racial resentment against African Americans.”

    • rikyrah says:

      The White House and Fox join forces to undermine anti-Trump protests as violent and fake

      By Philip Bump February 6 at 10:55 AM

      Fox News’s “Fox and Friends” has quickly emerged as a stalwart advocate for the presidency of Donald Trump. This may be due in part to the fact that Trump watches the show with regularity — so much so that a visual gag from the show about Trump flickering the lights of the White House at the hosts’ request went viral last week simply out of believability.

      Part of that defense of the beleaguered president has been to dismiss the protests against him as harmful, violent and artificial. Consider this remarkable snippet from Monday morning’s show.

      EMTs forced to perform emergency procedure on patient as anti-Trump protesters blocked an ambulance on its way to a hospital

      — FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 6, 2017

      “Violent protests like this,” the host says over footage from last week’s violence in Berkeley, Calif., “not only disgusting but also dangerous. Now rioters protesting the president’s immigration order are accused of blocking an ambulance carrying a critically ill patient in Connecticut.”

      It is true that a protest in Connecticut blocked a highway, delaying that ambulance. The patient lived, happily. But a local NBC affiliate showed what that protest looked like:

      Blocking a highway is illegal, and the leader of the protest was arrested. But this is much more “civil disobedience” than “rioting.”

      The day after that protest in Berkeley, we saw “Fox and Friends” hauling the same load. Alongside footage of crowds mingling next to a bonfire in California, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway lumped the violent protesters together with protesters at airports, suggesting that they all shared a collective misunderstanding of the president.

      White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared on the show on Monday to undercut the protests in a different way.

      SPICER: Protesting has become a profession now. This has become a very paid AstroTurf-type movement

      — FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 6, 2017

      “Do you sense,” host Brian Kilmeade asks, “instead of being an organic disruption, do you sense that there is an organized pushback and people are being paid to protest?”

      “Oh, absolutely,” Spicer replied. “I mean, protesting has become a profession now. They have every right to do that, don’t get me wrong. But I think we need to call it what it is. It’s not these organic uprisings that we have seen over the last several decades. The tea party was a very organic movement. This has become a very paid, Astroturf-type movement.”

      First of all, it is true that there are organizations that are helping to organize protests against Trump. The millions of people who turned out nationally on Jan. 21 were participating in something that began with an idea from a woman in Hawaii. But progressive groups certainly helped encourage attendance and awareness of what was happening.

  5. Lonnie Starr says:

    Don’t let NASA off cheap, make this a pressure point with them! Make them give till it hurts!

  6. Lonnie Starr says:

    Yet NASA says they have morals? I don’t remember any NASA campaign to right these wrongs and set the record straight, no places for them at the Smithsonian, which NASA can surely get them, among other things like honors and plaques and story books. NASA pushed them back, it’s NASA’s responsibility to push them forward and that includes awarding these women’s estates their proper back pay with interest! Morals indeed!

  7. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: #Trump will be blocked from speaking to Parliament on his visit to UK, Speaker of House of Commons says

    — Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) February 6, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    Closing the Preschool Gap at Home
    By the time kindergarten starts, wealthy kids already have a major head start over their low-income peers. A novel program hopes to change that.

    by Anne Kim
    February 6, 2017

    We are sitting in the cheerful, cluttered kitchen of Adriana Fuentes, a self-described Army wife and mom who lives in Woodlawn Village, a military housing complex near Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

    Fuentes is holding two paper finger puppets mounted on popsicle sticks, one with a sad face and one with a smiling one. She’s pretending to be her four-year-old son, Santana, as part of a role-playing exercise aimed at helping her teach her son about emotions.

    “How did you feel when you scraped your knee?” asks Brenda Richards, a home visitor for Fairfax County Public Schools who’s playing “mom.” Fuentes holds up the frowning puppet, matching her own expression to the puppet’s. Richards asks another question, and this time Fuentes holds up the smiling one. The thirty-something Fuentes is wearing a Batman logo T-shirt and a practical ponytail – standard weekday wear for a busy mom. She’s outgoing, enthusiastic and plays her part with gusto. “What would be a patient face?” Fuentes asks Richards. “We talk about that a lot when he doesn’t get his way.”

    For months, Richards has been a weekly visitor to Fuentes’s home, which Fuentes shares with her husband and children – four-year-old Santana, two-year-old Gabriela, and two teenagers. Richards typically comes during Gabriela’s naptime, but Gabby is awake today. She plays in the adjoining family room while Paw Patrol plays on the flatscreen TV. A big pile of moldable pink kinetic sand sits in a cookie sheet on the kitchen table, along with spoons and a small plastic shovel. Big wooden letters spelling “E-A-T” adorn the kitchen wall

    Richards works for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, a national home visiting initiative for low-income families that’s been offered in Fairfax County for more than a decade. A mom herself, Richards will visit half a dozen other homes this week, walking her clients through a tightly-scripted curriculum provided by the program, offering moral support and parenting advice. “What I love about my job is being a wife and mother and being able to support other mothers,” she said.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Imagine if Obama had said: “Next terror attack isn’t my fault. Stupid GOP judges and stuff.”
    There’d be an impeachment bill by sundown.

    — Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 5, 2017

    And FTR, I’m not saying it’s impeachable. I’m saying a lot of supposed conservatives are up to their eyeballs in hypocrisy right now.

    — Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 5, 2017

    With Trump whipping up things like this, I worry that something bad might happen to the judge, i.e. a Trump fan might violently attack him.

    — Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) February 5, 2017

    And Duma Republicans worry about the same thing happening to them if they stand up to Trump he he attacks them on Twitter

    — Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) February 5, 2017

  10. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s so lazy a fascist that he didn’t bother to put together a mass movement to kill judges. He wants others to do it for him.

    — Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) February 5, 2017

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump signaling his intent to blame checks on his power for terrorist attacks is his most explicit threat against our democratic system yet.

    — Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) February 5, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    What Is Your Red Line, Republicans?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 6, 2017 9:19 AM

    Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tells us what he’s hearing whispered behind the scenes in Washington.

    “What I’ve heard from behind the scenes,’’ Moulton said during a telephone interview on Monday, is that Mattis and others who were left out of Trump’s decision-making loop on the immigration order are asking one another, “What will make you resign? What’s your red line?”

    The question, “What’s your red line?” is something that all Republicans – not just members of Trump’s cabinet – should be asking themselves right now.

    As David Brooks wrote last week, it is clear that Congressional Republicans have made a faustian bargain with the president.

    Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media…

    But if the last 10 days have made anything clear, it’s this: The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul.

  13. rikyrah says:

    The End of the Innocence
    by D.R. Tucker
    February 5, 2017 7:00 AM

    Just remember, it’s supposed to be OK when Republicans say this stuff:

    President Trump, asked by an interviewer on Saturday why he respected President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia even though he is “a killer,” seemed to equate Mr. Putin’s actions with those of the United States.

    “You got a lot of killers,” he told the interviewer, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”


    Mr. Trump has long expressed his admiration for the Russian leader’s strength. But his willingness to seemingly draw a moral equivalence to actions by Mr. Putin, who has brutally suppressed dissent by eliminating political enemies, led to an eruption on social media.

    Many asked how conservatives would have reacted had President Barack Obama, or other Democrats, compared American actions to Mr. Putin’s.


    Remember the days when right-wingers would declare, “America–love it, or leave it”? Trump has indeed left America: he’s left this country scared, confused, embarrassed, heartbroken. He’s also left those who actually do love this country with a clear recognition that those who supported this man, and those who continue to defend this man, betrayed their fellow citizens by voting for him.

  14. rikyrah says:

    A Big Freakin’ Deal in the DNC Chair Race
    by D.R. Tucker
    February 5, 2017 11:00 AM

    Did former Vice President Joe Biden just do a favor for Rep. Keith Ellison?

    Biden’s endorsement of former Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee may have provided an unintentional boost to Ellison’s hopes to defeat Perez. Ellison’s backers have been promulgating the notion that Perez is an “establishment” hack who just can’t wait to betray progressives in favor of political insiders; Biden’s formal support of Perez could well destroy the former Justice Department official’s hopes to succeed Debbie Wasserman Schultz by further energizing Ellison’s already-passionate support base.

    Ellison and Perez are equally qualified to do the job; either man could turn the Democratic Party into an elite fighting force, recapturing the electoral ground Democrats lost during the Obama years. It’s a profound shame that this race is viewed as a brawl between the “establishment” and “progressive” wings of the Democratic Party, when both men have objectively strong progressive credentials. However, Perez has been tarred with the “establishment” brush, and such a stereotype may well be impossible for him to overcome.

    Either man would be a symbolic refutation of the Trump vision; the news of either Ellison or Perez becoming the new head of the DNC would be greeted by the usual slurs and sarcasm from America’s right-wing media empire. Like President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the eventual winner of the DNC chair race should welcome the right’s hatred; underneath such fury lies fear–fear that the new head of the DNC will orchestrate the party’s return to power.

  15. rikyrah says:

    A black Dallas family ‘did everything America said we should’ but still endures racism daily
    Sarah Mervosh, Breaking News Enterprise reporter

    A black gunman hunts police officers at a peaceful rally in downtown Dallas. He takes out three cops at one intersection, sneaks up on another from behind. Bullets slice the air.

    By the time the night is done, five officers will be dead.

    When the shooting starts, James Waters is less than a mile away, working late at his law office overlooking Victory Park. An American flag hangs above his desk. From where he sits, he cannot hear the gunshots or see the crowd scatter in fear.
    His phone rings about 10 p.m. It’s his wife, and she has seen the news.

    “I need you to promise you’ll stay there,” she tells him.

    It’s July 7, 2016, and the country is already on edge with racial strife fueled by police killings of black men. Alton Sterling, on the ground in Louisiana. Philando Castile, in his car in Minnesota, his T-shirt soaked in blood.

    Frances Cudjoe Waters can envision what might happen if her husband leaves the office. There, he’s safe, well-known and well-regarded. Out on the streets, she believes, he’ll be just another black man, a potential target on this night of fear and fury and revenge.

    James scrolls through the news on his computer. It has been a long day and he’s ready to go home. The drive takes only 10 minutes. He would probably be fine.

    Probably. That small uncertainty captures what it’s like to be African-American today. Making this decision, weighing the risks, when all you want to do is go home to your family, something you could do without a thought if you were white.

    James doesn’t want to worry his wife. As helicopters hover over Dallas, he spends the night dozing at his desk, rumpled in his suit, waiting for the sun to rise.

    A divide in America
    The Waters family should be enjoying all the fruits of the American dream.
    James graduated from Columbia University, the first in his family to finish college.

    Frances got a degree from Stanford University, after her grandmothers worked as maids for white families, and her parents worked their way through school.

    Both James and Frances went on to study at Harvard Law School, where they met.

    They’re raising three sons — William, 16; Joshua, 15; and Christopher, 12 — in a safe and wealthy neighborhood in North Dallas. Their 5,800-square-foot home has five bedrooms, a diving pool and a tennis court in the backyard.
    They’ve worked hard for this life.

    James is a partner at a big Dallas law firm and holds board positions across the city. Frances is a United Methodist pastor who has her own strategic consulting company.

    They’re so busy that every day feels like a sprint: a blur of school drop-offs and client meetings and “what’s for dinner,” stolen trips to Tom Thumb for raspberry sorbet and little moments of quiet.

    “We did everything America said we should do,” Frances says.

    And yet, when they step outside their usual circles in Dallas — where they feel not only accepted but embraced by friends of all colors — they cannot escape racism in America. No matter their credentials or accomplishments, they’re still black.
    “We’re unprotected out in the world,” Frances says.

    It’s not that they have been harassed by a rogue police officer — the mistreatment that captures headlines. It’s the thousand other ways they are made to feel criminalized, less than, invisible.

  16. BlackMail4u says:

    Great movie about some phenomenal women! Have you read the book? I have heard that there are several scenes in the movie that aren’t in the book, such as when Katherine was allowed to go into the room where the space launch was occurring. That did not happen, she was not allowed to even be in the room. It will be interesting to compare the movie to the book.

  17. Allison Keith Hester says:

    I’ve only seen “Hidden Colors” once. I found it to be a wonderful movie. I admired all of the characters in this movie but one stood out most. I admired Octavia Spencer’s can-do spirit and attitude. She did not take no for an answer.

  18. vitaminlover says:

    Brains and beauty.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone😐😐😐

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Ladies & Everyone.

      Thank you for featuring “Hidden Figures.” This movie is already a CLASSIC.


  20. I love this, Rikyrah! I get goosebumps from watching Dorothy Vaughan, leading her girls from the segregated outpost. Dorothy rocked!

    And back to this….these women were erased from history. ALL OF THOSE YEARS. That’s some cold ass ISH. They were doing the work and others took the credit but it has always been that way. I can’t wait until I can buy the movie.

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