I'm late on this post because I was stressed over the lack of clarity in the photo, but I'm calling it done and posting any way. I only hope the Blog Content Gods can forgive me for not having the most perfect photo this time.
I was so clueless on what book we should choose for this month that I was insanely grateful when Jen suggested Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. I watched the movie last year for my annual Oscar extravaganza and remembered just falling in love with it. While I loved the movie, you know some things get left out so I am stoked to check out the book. I've been trying to get more book club books on audiobook since I have a 2+ hour daily commute to fill so this was the perfect month to use my library app to make that happen. I can't wait to get some glimpses behind the scenes and dive even deeper into Hidden Figures.
What's it about?Before John Glenn orbited Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and entering the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.
Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to change their own lives and their country’s future.