What to See, What You May Have Missed
by Phil Shoulberg
Hidden Figures is the true story of three African American women who were NASA mathematicians during the era when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. I was in grade school at the time and couldn’t get enough of all things NASA. I certainly had no idea about the uphill battle these women faced. They suffered in a number of ways because of the color of their skin. Finally, they succeeded on their intelligence and ability. I think you’ll find this film uplifting and inspirational, and I highly recommend it.
In addition to this movie, in the last month I saw two plays that explored the strife brought on by race. The first, the not so familiar Intimate Apparel at the New Jewish Theater was the story of a New York City African American seamstress during the turn of the century. She had a close friendship with a Jewish shopkeeper that because of societal mores of the time, couldn’t go any further.
The other was the well known To Kill a Mockingbird at the Rep. The story was enhanced by using black cast members as a choir and singing spirituals between scenes. Both Intimate Apparel and To Kill a Mockingbird were wonderful productions.
Whether or not you see Hidden Figures, I encourage you to stretch your thinking about the race issue. There are innumerable movies, books, plays and lectures out there. You can’t see or read them all, but choose at least one or or several.
My hope is that during our Renewal period we will grow individually and because of that as a congregation. Watch for stimulating programs coming up this summer in which we can all participate. I’ll end by quoting Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
“You really can’t understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you you climb in his skin and walk around in it.”