Questions for Hidden Figures

Questions for Hidden Figures

  • Intersectionality refers to overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. As African American women working for NASA, Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary face racism and sexism due to their intersectional identities. Identify two examples of racial prejudice or discrimination they face. Identify one example of a sexist stereotype they face.
  • We have talked about microaggressions or subtle, indirect verbal and nonverbal insults that communicate prejudice, hostility, and denigration towards someone due to their group membership. As you are watching Hidden Figures, identify 3 examples of racist microaggressions communicated towards Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary.
  • Institutional racism refers to social patterns and organizational practices that limit the opportunities or perpetuate the unequal treatment of individuals due to their race. Al Harrison’s (Katherine’s boss) appears to be blind to the conditions that make Katherine’s job more difficult. Identify one example of institutional racism that Al is oblivious to in the film. How does Vivian Mitchell (female supervisor) reinforce institutional racism? Provide one example to support your answer.
  • At the middle of the film, Al Harrison knocks the “Colored Ladies Bathroom” sign and announces that there will be no more segregated bathrooms. How can fighting against racial and sexual discrimination be beneficial for women and racial minorities? For racial and gendered majorities (i.e., white men)?
  • What is the role of friends and family members in supporting Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary? How do they support each other? How is support communicated? How do you think the support you mentioned above helped the women face different types of discrimination?

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