Review Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures (@HiddenFigures) | TwitterHidden Figures: One official story

By Joanne Laurier, 12 January 2017

Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi, screenplay by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures
Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures recounts the story of three brilliant African-American female scientists who made extraordinary contributions to NASA—the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—in the 1960s. The movie is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

The film centers on Katherine Goble Johnson (born 1918), a physicist and mathematician who excelled in computerized celestial navigation for Project Mercury, the first US human spaceflight program (including the flights of Alan Shepard and John Glenn) from 1958 through 1963, the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon and the Space Shuttle program. She was also involved in the early plans for a mission to Mars. Continue reading

Screenplay Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures Screenplay

(Based on the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Shetterly)
by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – May 12, 2015
2 Based on a true story.

3 Hidden Figures – 5/9/ Shooting Draft – 1. In darkness, the voice of a little girl. Counting. LITTLE GIRL (V.O.) 14, 15, 16…prime. 18, prime. EXT. TREE LINED PATH – DAY A pair of little feet navigates down a gravel path. Kicking a pine cone. LITTLE GIRL (O.S.) 20, 21, 22, prime, 24, 25, Pulling up, we reveal: COLEMAN (8,) a peculiar, quiet, mouse of a child, wearing glasses bigger than her bookish face. Counting to herself. A VOICE (her Mother s) in the distance hollers out: JOYLETTE COLEMAN (O.S.) Katherine! Come on now! Katherine looks up. Sees a car stopped at the end of the path. She runs off. Counting all the way. Titles over: White Sulphur Springs, Virginia EXT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY A colored grammar school. Small, spirited. Katherine s now between her parents (dad: JOSHUA and JOYLETTE,) holding their hands as they enter. INT. WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS GRAMMAR SCHOOL – DAY – CONT. A long hallway lined with windows. Sitting on a bench, outside a Principal s office, Katherine sketches (in a small notebook) the window panes, highlighting all the geometric shapes she discovers within: YEARS OLD) Isosceles, scalene, obtuse, equilateral, rhombus… On the windows opposite her: the tetris-like patterns of her mind s eye come alive. And on she goes. YEARS OLD) (CONT D) Trapezoid, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron… Continue reading

Margot Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly - WikipediaMargot Lee Shetterly CV Oct 2013

US Mailing Address: …
Mex Address: …
US TEL: … • MEX TEL: …

Hidden Figures, narrative nonfiction work in progress. Hidden Figures is the untold history of the African-American women employed as Human Computers by NACA/NASA from the 1940s through the 1960s. (Represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency)

The Human Computers Project. Multimedia platform archiving the history of NACA-NACA’s African-American Human Computers and their significance in the context of the US Space Program, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for Gender Equality. Collaborative work in progress with Prof. Duchess Harris of Macalester College.


Bristol Slavery Profits

Blaise Castle HouseProfits

The profits that traders and plantation owners made from the slave trade and African labour could be large. Such profits were not necessarily put back into the business. Instead, many chose to spend their money on home comforts and invested in property. By the mid 1700s, many people who lived in Bristol who were involved in the African slave trade or who owned (but did not live on) Caribbean plantations moved out of the central area of Bristol. They moved to areas such as Clifton that were considered then to be ‘leafy suburbs’.

Some traders and plantation owners moved further out of the city to live in the surrounding countryside, adopting the style of the country landowner. Henry Hobhouse for example, from a slave trading family, acquired land at Castle Cary, in nearby Somerset. The Harfords, whose brass factories provided trade goods to the slave traders, bought property in Cardiganshire, in south west Wales. Caleb Dickinson (who owned a Jamaican plantation and traded in sugar in Bristol), purchased King Weston house in Somerton, Somerset. The Helyar family, who also owned Jamaican sugar plantations, owned Coker Court in East Coker near Yeovil, Somerset. Continue reading

UK Plantation Economy

Advertisement, an estate for sale on NevisThe plantation economy

Land in the Caribbean islands was cheap, but the costs of setting up a sugar plantation were high. Sir Dalby Thomas in 1690 estimated that a 100 acre plantation on the island of Barbados, with 50 enslaved Africans, seven white indentured servants, sugar mill, boiling works, equipment and livestock would cost £5,625 (over £250,000 at today’s values). To recover these costs, the plantations had to produce enough good quality sugar to pay off debts and mortgages and cover the running costs each year. The owners also wanted a profit. Some families, such as the Pinneys of Nevis in the Caribbean and Bristol, were able to build up a fortune based on land, sugar producing and trading.

Enslaved people from Africa were the basis of these sugar fortunes. John Pinney, a plantation owner on the island of Nevis, wrote in the 1760s to his managers “a word respecting the care of my slaves and stock [animals] – your own good sense must tell you they are the sinews of a Plantation and must claim your particular care and attention”. He also wrote that “it is impossible for a Man to make sugar without the assistance of Negroes as to make bricks without straw”. Continue reading

Bristol Business

CoinSpain’s Slavery Contract
From Discovering Bristol [edited]

Spain was building its empire in the [re]discovered lands of the Americas. It needed people to work in the mines and on the plantations that were developing. At first, the local people, AmerIndians, were used as free labour. They had been in the Americas long before the Spanish and other Europeans arrived. The AmerIndians were enslaved and forced to work by the newcomers. But, the AmerIndian population decreased rapidly after the Europeans [started exploiting and murdering them]. The Europeans came with swords and guns, as well as dogs and horses. The AmerIndians had bows and arrows and spears, and were no match for the newcomers. The Europeans brought diseases such as measles and the flu. The AmerIndians were not used to these new diseases, and they died in great numbers.

In 1500, it is estimated that there were about 50 million AmerIndians in the Americas. By 1600, after 100 years of European warfare, disease and forced labour, this number had been reduced to about 8 million. Continue reading

Black Dutch

Who Are the Black Dutch?
From Ancestral Findings

The term “Black Dutch” is something you may encounter in your genealogy research, or maybe you’ve heard it mentioned in your family as being part of your ancestry? But what does it mean, exactly? Who were the Black Dutch? If you’re just getting started on your genealogy adventure, you may not know. This is the explanation you need.

I found it very interesting to learn that the Black Dutch were not one particular race. That is the most important thing to remember. It is a term that is used in historical documents to refer to several different groups. Knowing your ancestral origins and some of your family history will help you put the term “Black Dutch” in context with your own family. Continue reading