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The 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures’ showcases historical facts through implementing racial injustice that African Americans faced in the 60s the inequality and discrimination and by using primary and secondaty sources to support the film and how history can be learned through a film. Director Theodore Melfi, incorporated racial dicrimination of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movements as it his great significance and correlates to the film, American segregation in the 1960’s appeared when Dorothy went to a public library and is told to use the coloured section, they are kicked out and then seen riding in the back as the bus as it is segregated, being the front portion for the whites.
Schools in the early 60s were segregated so when Mary was obligated to complete courses for her work at Hampton High School, a segregated school, she then has to petition the court to allow her to attend the school to complete her mandatory courses, she’s told to sit at the back as the courtroom is segregated.
Segregation is shown when Katherine is to give an explanation to why it takes her 40 minutes to use the bathroom and begins to list the issues she is projected with at work, “There is no bathroom. There are no coloured bathrooms in this building or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away…i have to walk to Timbuktu just to relieve myself. And i can’t use one of the handy bikes. My uniform, skirt below the knees, my heels and a simple string of pearls.
Well, I don’t own pearls. Lord knows you don’t pay coloureds enough to afford pearls! And I work like a dog, day and night living off of coffee from a pot none of you wanna touch”. Gender Inequality in the film was shown when Jim Johnson says, “they let women handle that sort of…” and Mary’s teacher stated, “the curriculum is not designed to teach women” and Strafford responding “there is no protocol for women attending” when Katherine asked to be in the meetings, these quotes obviously refer to how women were perceived by men.
Primary sources in Hidden Figures is shown when the original John F. Kennedy’s Moon speech at Rice University and the clip of Martin Luther King’s interview are used. Primary recording form the time to complement the film and give it a more historical affect, secondary sources by reenactments such as the Red Stone Unmanned Rocket tester, the Alan Shepard’s Launch, Mercury Redstone 4 with Liberty Bell 7 recovery and the Mercury Atlas 6. The use of sources make history much easier to learn as they may provide real factual evidence to support the scene or plot.
To conclude, history may be learned through a film, Theodore Melfi used the Civil Rights timeline to show the racial injustice African Americans had to endure and inequality, with the use of primary sources it may make movies more educational and history may be learned from films.
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