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Octavia Spencer Bought Out a Theater So Low-Income Families Could See 'Hidden Figures'

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrity | January 16, 2017 |

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrity | January 16, 2017 |


Hidden Figures has been number-one at the box office two weeks in a row, but not everyone is able to see it easily. That’s why star Octavia Spencer did her part to help single moms and low-income families get to watch the film.

Tomorrow I've bought the 8pm showing of #hiddenfigures the rave Baldwin hills. If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can't afford it have them come. It's first come first served. 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 Pass the word.

A photo posted by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on

“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.”

Spencer lost her mother, Dellsena, when she was 18 years old. As a single mother, Dellsena worked several jobs to care for her seven children.

“I had a very strong mom who made me and my sisters understand that there were no limitations on our lives except what we placed on ourselves,” Spencer says, adding: “She taught us to see people as people. All people. Taught us to understand our place in the world. And our place in the world is, if you want to be a leader, you can be that. There was no glass ceiling until I got into the real world and realized there are glass ceilings everywhere!”

Spencer isn’t the only one ensuring all young girls are able to experience Hidden Figures. A 13-year-old aspiring astronaut named Taylor Richardson started a GoFundMe to take 100 local girls to see the film after she went to a screening at the White House in December.

After seeing this incredible movie, hearing from the cast, words of wisdom from The First Lady, Michelle Obama, and meeting Katherine Johnson’s daughter and grandson, I left D.C. feeling incredibly inspired to pay it forward for some girls in my community to have a special viewing as well. But not just girls of color all girls from all walks of life in my city who may have the courage to dream BIG and not let what they can’t see or as my idol Dr. Jemison says, “be limited by others limited imagination”, see this movie.

As a girl of color, it’s important that girls not only look at the stars but take the steps to reach for them; because many years ago a group of black women marched into a room as programmers and changed the game not only of space exploration but broke gender barriers as well. Now in 2016 we have a deficit in this field. So, How’d that happen? So I think in 2017, we have to work on how to change that. I believe seeing this movie will give us girls the inspiration we need to say I can be can be a mathematician, an engineer or better yet an astronaut! Besides #STEMforALL for right? And we definitely got the #STEMGirlSWAG to do it with your help!

STEM is hard work but we must explain to our girls that there will be times when you may fail but keep trying. We can’t allow our girls to feel that STEM is only for boys. We have to do more. I feel that one way to do that is providing ways girls can see other women or girls who look like them in roles of STEM. And Hidden Figures is one way to get that conversation rolling!

Her goal was $2,600. She has so far raised over $10,000.

In other “Octavia Spencer is a treasure” news, she took a moment to honor Taraji P. Henson, the star of Hidden Figures.

Shout out and tip of the hat to my sis @tarajiphenson. She tops the box office two weeks in a row. Now before people weigh in… yes, @janellemonae and I put work in on this film, and we gladly take our bows. But, if this movie had tanked Taraji would have taken the flack. So, in the spirit of living the dream and advocating for my sisters, so proud of you sis. Glad to be your wing woman. Dun dun dun… don't you know that we're able. That alone makes us major… #hiddenfigures🚀

A photo posted by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on

In a world where women are not only constantly being pit against each other, treated as rivals rather than peers or collaborators, women of color are often lumped together as a unit rather than allowed to shine as individuals, particularly when they star together on screen. Spencer singling out Henson is wonderful.





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