I just saw the movie, Hidden Figures, and I am, once again, humbled by the strength of black women. As a middle class protestant white girl, growing up in the south in the fifties and sixties, I was sadly ignorant of the often nightmarish reality faced by “people of color”—black women in particular.
I was one of those lucky white children portrayed in The Help. Like them, I had the incredible good fortune to be cared for by more than one kind and affectionate black woman.
These women hugged me and kissed me and fussed at me when I disobeyed. Of course, I loved them, but did I appreciate them? No more than I appreciated the food my mother cooked or the hours my father worked at his office. However, the time I spent with them taught me more about generosity of spirit and the simple strength of goodness than any other experience in my life. I cannot imagine what it cost them to care for me when their own children were taking care of themselves.
Like the main characters in Hidden Figures, these women suffered the humiliations of segregation and the abuses born of prejudice, but they never stopped singing God’s praises. And, when they laughed, as they frequently did, joy spilled in all directions.
By now I’m sure many of these amazing women have claimed a special place next to God, so I send my small prayer of thanks for His great goodness in sharing them with me, and hope they will hear how well they are remembered.