Remember how "Hidden Figures" came out in December and everyone was shocked that they'd never before heard the story of a group of black women who helped send the first American astronaut into space? If only high schools had assigned Margot Lee Shetterly's book during their lesson segments on the Cold War...
Shetterly's debut nonfiction book, “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” chronicles the story of mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1960s at the Langley Research Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia. Because segregation was alive and while during this time, these "human computers" were segregated in their work and, essentially, wiped from public memory of how John Glenn was sent into orbit.
Shetterly will be visiting Phoenix to present her New York Times bestseller this evening, April 4, at Orpheum Theatre at 7 p.m. The author is presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing as part of their Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. Shetterly will give a presentation, followed by a Q&A led by Piper Center Interim Director Matt Bell and a book signing. “It's an extraordinary and inspiring story, which we believe is both a necessary correction of the historical narratives surrounding NASA's achievements as well as an inspiration to young Americans today interested in science, engineering, and mathematics," Bell says.
“Hidden Figures” has been critically acclaimed and adapted into a film, which was nominated for three Academy Awards.
About the event:
Tuesday, April 4, 7 p.m.
203 W. Adams St., Phoenix
The event is free and open to the public, but we recommend registering in advance. Seating is first-come, first-serve.
Get your daily dose of culture with our curated picks of the best events and experiences in the Valley, from art and music to sports and the outdoors. Culture vultures can sign up for our Things to Do and VIP List newsletters for even more hip happenings.