by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures is an amazing true story about four black female mathematicians whose calculations helped move the space program in America forward. Their work helped launch rockets and keep astronauts safe. They were called “computers” for their math knowledge and broke barriers for race and gender in a time when those barriers were exceptionally thick and tall. Still segregated from their white counterparts at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton Virginia, they were given work that used their exceptional minds to the fullest. They were some of the brightest minds of their generation and had it not been for the labor shortages of WWII, they would not have been given the opportunity to be a part of the space program, but destined to stay as school teachers in the South’s “colored” public schools. Working with white male engineers, they were given difficult problems to solve that helped change their country’s future. The book follows their lives, their struggles, their challenges, and their careers over three decades.
As I read this book I was amazed at the fact that I did not know these women existed! The book is a glimpse into the world during WWII and beyond for the African American community and the sacrifices these women made during that time to achieve success. It is an inspiration to anyone with a dream of doing something that is out of the ordinary and achieving your dreams
Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Secret Lives of Codebreakers by Sinclair McKay