Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi, screenplay by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly
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 →
Black In America: Thug Life – Richard Sherman Style
By Angriest Black Man In America, Black In America Series, Jan. 24 2014
So…suffice it to say I have a new hero: Richard Sherman. I am actually not a football fan. Honestly, I dislike the sport for its aggressive barbaric nature and some other ideological crap most people don’t care about. However, I don’t think anyone could have missed the media storm that was caused by Richard Sherman’s post-game interview on the field after his team’s win against the 49ers.
Release Date: January 16, 1998
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland
Runtime: 120 minutes
Content: Biblical worldview admitting God the creator, but focusing on fallen angels & demons, with some Christian references & some occult references; 49 obscenities & 4 profanities; extensive violence including man gassed in gas chamber, men shot, fights, dead bodies in bathtubs, men killed by lethal injections; no sex; glimpses of nude corpses but no private parts; alcohol use & abuse; drug use; cigarettes laced with poison; and, theological Continue reading →
Is ‘Precious’ the Next ‘Monster’s Ball’?
By Valerie C. Gilbert (2009)
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Director: Lee Daniels
Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd
(Lionsgate; US theatrical: 6 Nov 2009; 2009)
When it comes to Hollywood and representation of African-American women, I propose that the present decade might be viewed as beginning with Monster’s Ball (2001) and ending with Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire (2009). The two films have much in common. First, there is Lee Daniels, the producer who, for years, fought tirelessly to bring Monster’s Ball to the screen. Continue reading →
“Monster’s Ball” tries to convince us, in a raw, depressing Southern gothic style, that a Black woman in a small Georgia town will turn to a White man, who is an open racist, for sexual comfort and companionship. It also tells us that a racist will release his hatred when confronted with personal tragedy and the unexpected attention of a pretty, young Black woman. Beneath these two ideas is the old theme that love—even if it really is something else, like neediness or convenience—redeems and conquers all. Continue reading →
The Real Nat Turner
By Dr. Molefi Kete Asante (2000)
There are those who say that history is indifferent, though enough has been written to distort African American history to suggest that someone is playing a game with us. This is quite clear in the case of Nat Turner, born 200 years ago. It is as if he could be sheathed in an interpretative garment with so many layers that you could never really know him. Yet there are some interesting developments around Turner’s bicentennial. Continue reading →
Famous Doctor Operated on [Enslaved African Women] Without Anesthesia
by Boyce Watkins (2010)
University of Illinois professor Deborah McGregor has shed light on an important piece of American history. McGregor has noted that Dr. James Marion Sims, considered the father of [western] gynecology, developed many of his techniques by operating on enslaved African women, many of whom were not given anesthesia.
McGregor, author of ‘From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology,’ said “There is no doubt that he carried out experiments on women, and that he was only able to do so because they were [enslaved].”
Part of the controversy regarding Sims centers around a statue placed near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in New York City. The statue is located next to the New York Academy of Medicine, in a neighborhood that is majority African American and Puerto Rican. Continue reading →