Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Back in the day of the Jim Crow South, NASA was desperate to find mathematicians to work for them. ‘Hidden Figures’ is the true story of the many female African-American mathematicians who worked in the space program. They were known as “colored computers”.
‘Hidden Figures’ is the story of 5 of them, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine. Their story is told through interviews, documents, correspondence, etc.
Until I found out about this book, I had no idea that NASA had so many female African American Mathematicians working for them. Hell, back in the 50’s and 60’s that not only would hav3e been considered “men’s work” but also almost exclusive to white men, especially in the south! So, when I found out about ‘hidden Figures’ and the history it tells, I jumped to the opportunity to read you.
You may think because it is non-fiction that it is a dry account of what happened but you would be wrong. Margot Lee Shetterly wrote about both the private and public lives of these women which made it a more personal touch and a riveting read. ‘Hidden Figures’ is truly a hidden gem. If you like history in general, the space race, women’s history, or African American history, this is a must read!
I received a free print copy of this book.
About Margot Lee Shetterly
Margot Lee Shetterly grew up in Hampton, Virginia, where she knew many of the women in her book Hidden Figures. She is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and the recipient of a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for her research on women in computing. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.