“I have been told my entire career, ‘Black women can’t open films domestically or internationally’” – Taraji P. Henson/Instagram
Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson posted a photocaption on Instagram for a tweet by Hollywood Reporter noting that Hidden Figures topped box-office sales with 22.8 million.
The team used a grassroots approach to promote the film and it quickly gained buzz. People took to social media to express their excitement in a film with positive black representation.
“What a proud moment!!! P.S. telling me what I can’t do only makes me focus on proving nay sayers WRONG!!” Henson added, who stars in the film as Katherine Jackson, a physicist and mathematician.
In the film, Jackson was told that women couldn’t be engineers.
Henson, who stated at the 2016 Crystal + Lucy Awards that she moved to California with $700 in her pocket, her son and a dream, was told by critics that she would never make it as an actress.
The film details the experiences of three incredible black women at NASA – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe).
As reported by PopularMechanics, [t]his was a group made up of mostly women who calculated by hand the complex equations that allowed space heroes like Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, and Glenn to travel safely to space.”
Despite their contributions to American history, this fascinating story remained untold before it was covered in a book (Margot Lee Shetterly) and turned into a film. It gives a deeper look into the struggles that women face in their industries and the inequalities that exist today.
The success of Hidden Figures proves that people appreciate great content. It shuts down any assumptions that positive, uplifting black roles in film (and television) are not profitable or won’t engage audiences. It also marks a positive step forward for more diverse productions and sharing the untold stories of black heroes.
Check out the trailer below: