The Greensboro Public Library and community partners host Margot Lee Shetterly at noon Thursday, September 28 at GTCC Koury Auditorium, 601 E. Main St., Jamestown and at 7 pm at Dana Auditorium on the Guilford College campus. Both events are free and open to the public.
Shetterly is the author of the New York Times bestselling book and inspiration for the movie "Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race." The book is this year’s One City, One Book title and the basis for a variety of programs at the Library and throughout the community this fall.
Hidden Figures is the story of black female mathematicians who worked behind the scenes at NACA and later NASA at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, in Hampton, Va. Referred to as "human computers," Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden were vital in devising aeronautic calculations that propelled the United States as a leader in the race to travel into space.
The book and movie also touch on issues of race, gender, science, innovation and more. They highlight the unheralded contributions of women and minorities to American innovation. Shetterly’s father was also among the early generation of NASA engineers. In 2010, on a visit home, her father told her, “A lot of women around here, black and white, worked as computers.” Thanks to that conversation, Shetterly wanted to know more.
Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the women's stories. She graduated from the University of Virginia and is a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow.
A book signing will follow each Greensboro presentation.