Between the Lines Book Club: Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

between the lines book club logoThis week does not feel like Fall but my calendar informs me that we are now in September. Time for our next book club pick! We’ll be reading Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women. You can read along and leave comments below, or join us at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on September 23.

The field of astronomy has a long tradition of using people, usually women (because they could be paid less than men) to make mathematical calculations. The people were known as “computers” before mechanical computers existed. Hidden Figures tells the stories of the human computers who worked at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory from WWII through the 1960s. These women were responsible for the math behind the early days of space flight.

In particular, the book focuses on Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. The women dealt with racism and sexism, as well as with personal challenges. The book became the basis for a hit movie, Hidden Figures, which starred Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae.

You can read my review of the book at Smart bitches, Trashy Books. See you in September!

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