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Hidden Figures: Multicultural Morning and the Oscars

Nellie Shih

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By Samantha Brant ’19, A&E Editor and Nellie Shih ‘19, News Editor

“Let me ask you, if you were a white male, would you wish to be an engineer?”

“I wouldn’t have to. I’d already be one.”

At 10 am on a Wednesday, you would expect 300 high school students to be in their classes, but instead Country Day students were on their way to see the Oscar nominated film Hidden Figures. This year, the Diversity Club and Student Council came together to find a new and exciting way to experience Multicultural Morning. After the film, students gathered in their advisories to discuss the film and their experience.

“I thought it was a really cool movie and it was a good way to show us past struggles and help us embrace other cultures,” says Katie Briggs, ’20.

“Honestly the main thing I took away from the film was how important diversity is in Hollywood,” says junior Sid Chandrasekar. “Hidden Figures proved that a film with women of color leads could captivate audiences and do great in the box office. Producers and casting directors should take note: representation in media is necessary. Here’s to hoping that it wins Oscars to drive that point home even more.”

At the Oscars red carpet on Sunday, Michael Strahan reported he had heard that Janelle Monáe, who plays Mary Jackson, was moved to tears when she first read the script for the film. “I was so excited and happy but also frustrated that I didn’t know about these women,” responded Monáe. “I didn’t know about these women, these African American women who took us to space. They took our first American astronaut to space, that’s American history, we should have known about that.”

The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer.) Of the three main characters portrayed in the film, Katherine Johnson, at 98 years old, is the only one of the three still alive. Johnson was brought onstage at the Academy Awards on Sunday by stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, to thank viewers.

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Hidden Figures: Multicultural Morning and the Oscars