Octavia Spencer and several generous folks have paid for hundreds of kids to see the critically acclaimed movie
“Hidden Figures” is making millions at the box office and thanks to the kindness of strangers hundreds of girls across America are seeing the movie for free. From Octavia Spencer to a 13-year-old girl in Florida, fundraising campaigns for tickets are popping up everywhere.
The historical drama centers around three African American women who played a significant role in the Space Race while working as mathematicians and engineers at NASA. The women’s courage and tenacity helped them push past racial and gender divides to accomplish extraordinary things. The story is compelling and crucial for society to witness – especially since we often discredit and overlook powerful, educated women of color and their achievements. The film has inspired actresses, teachers, and even kids to raise money for children who might not be able to afford a movie ticket.
“If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can’t afford it have them come,” wrote one of the movie’s stars, Octavia Spencer. The Academy Award-winning actress picked up the tab for an 8 p.m. showing over the weekend at a movie theater in Los Angeles and told fans to come via Instagram. “My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I’m honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend,” she added. “Pass the word.”
Across the country, 13-year-old Taylor Richardson launched a GoFundMe campaign so she could help send 100 girls to see “Hidden Figures” at a theater in Jacksonville, Florida. “These black women did something I never knew about, and it’s not in any history books that I’ve studied thus far,” she told The Huffington Post. Richardson saw the film during a special screening at the White House and left feeling motivated to help other girls see the film and feel empowered. “I cried, I laughed, I got angry and then got determined to not let others’ impressions of me because of the color of my skin impact how my life will be,” explained the teen who wants to be an astronaut one day.
As of Tuesday night, her campaign had raised more than $13,500. Richardson told reporters she’s reached out to various organizations like the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Journey Into Womanhood to find girls who’d be interested in watching the film. “This movie instills that us girls can dream big and make it even when odds are against us,” she shared. “Most importantly I want girls to know that, like boys, they too can excel in STEM with hard work.” It’s a significant message that we don’t give to women of color nearly enough. For example, between 1973 and 2012 only 66 black women earned PhDs in physics while 22,172 white men did.
No one knows this more than teachers, which is why many of them have started their own fundraising campaigns for the movie as well. Peter Modlin teaches at an elementary school in Baltimore. He raised $1,000 to take girls in second, third, fourth and fifth grade to the movie in hopes that they’d leave the film feeling inspired.
“I want the girls to see this movie in hopes that a lightbulb might go off,” he shared. “A lightbulb that signifies a belief in the opportunity to do or be anything they want to be, if they work hard to achieve that goal.” Hell yes. Donate money for girls to see the film here. And, if you haven’t already, take a girl (and a boy) you know to see “Hidden Figures.”