Hidden But Visible
Today, January 6, 2017, across America, a new film called, “Hidden Figures”, will be showing in several theatres. It is a 2016 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. The film also features Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons. The film recounts the story of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who, while working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, helped NASA catch up in the Space Race. Using their calculations, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to make a complete orbit of Earth. (Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures)
I am more than excited to see this film because the story of Katherine Johnson resonates with a lot of professional African-American women and their struggle of being hidden due to factors that have nothing to do with their ability to succeed. Black women have bared the ‘background’ in a country that has taken centuries to acknowledge their intelligence and success. Discredited for ideas and concepts due to segregation has felt like a lifetime to some and without the shift in the mindsets of my fellow American brothers and sisters on equality and justice for all, we will continue to fight to prove our place in the contribution of America’s success in various avenues of life that affects our advancement in technology, entrepreneurship and so forth.
I continue to fight this fight professionally. But my method of fighting has been:: my Faith, Prayer, choosing to be a lifetime student, friends, family & mentors who want the best for me and push me even when I have moments of feeling defeated.
With over 16 years of professional experience that includes Engineering, Project Controls and Product Development and multiple opportunities working overseas reflected on a resume that has been ascribed as being ‘impressive’ from interviewers and colleagues, I STILL have to deal with being discriminated, underpaid, over looked due to the color of my skin and blatantly mistreated professionally while I watch other professionals who are not black, with less experience, move ahead. However, I did have moments that were great and nuggets to share that I believe contributed to my success and made me “Visible.”
But know this….The core of my success does not lie in the accolades on my resume as much as it does on maintaining a winning attitude which has resulted in me being BETTER and not BITTER.
I also learned that choosing to have a positive attitude opened more doors of opportunity than my degree and my decision to go HIGH when they go LOW (Thank you Michelle Obama) has saved me from having to apologize or what I like to say, “clean up a mess that I created.” ***whew!****
My humility has created moments of what I like to call, ”God’s favor”, as I look over my professional life where I gained the attention of VP’s and CEO’s who ‘heard’ about me and made a point to reach out to me for various opportunities that came with company wide recognition. I don’t take those opportunities lightly.
I want to close by leaving a word of encouragement to every young, black, female who desires to make her mark on the world wherever she is whether she is in corporate America, entrepreneurship or a stay at home mom raising her child(ren) to be upright citizens in this world…
Don’t you EVER let people discourage you from your destiny….PERIOD.
This walk of life will have many people coming and going and everyone will have an opinion about your life but the only opinion that counts is your OWN. What you feed your heart, will become your belief and will ultimately be what you SPEAK which will create the picture of your life…so, check your vocabulary. What is the language of your faith?
Prayer: “Father God, I thank you for the person reading this blog right now. Give them confirmation of your word when you said in Jeremiah 29:11,”For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Help this person to be more confident in the process of their destiny. Help them to be patient and not be weary in well doing. I trust your WORD Lord and I feel your love for me. God you said that you are with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9) and I believe that in my heart. As this person starts off 2017, let them not do anything without you being in their plans and first in their life. Help them to work unto YOU and not Man and help them to look beyond the offense but still operate in integrity. They can and will do it because they believe in themselves and your spirit which lives within them.
In Jesus mighty name, I pray….AMEN”
Xoxo Chiccy Baritone