Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race

by Margot Lee shetterly | History |
ISBN: 0008201323 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingvioloncellixwing on 6/23/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingvioloncellixwing on Saturday, June 23, 2018
Exciting story of the African American women mathematicians and engineers who worked at NACA, later NASA, and helped put rockets into space. The focus on Kathleen Johnson, Mary Black and Dorothy Vaughan makes this a very personable book.

Some quotes:

Through its inability to solve its racial problems, the United States handed the Soviet Union one of the most effective propaganda weapons in their arsenal.
Newly independent countries around the world, eager for alliances that would support their emerging identities and set them on their path to long-term prosperity, were confronted with a version of the same question black Americans had asked during World War II. Why would a black or brown nation stake its future on America's model of democracy when within its own borders the United States enforced discrimination and savagery against people who looked just like them?

But before a computer became an inanimate object, and before Mission Control landed in Houston; before Sputnik changed the course of history, and before the NACA became NASA; before the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Langley’s West Computers were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research, and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female.

Even as a professional in an integrated world, I had been the only black woman in enough drawing rooms and boardrooms to have an inkling of the chutzpah it took for an African American woman in a segregated southern workplace to tell her bosses she was sure her calculations would put a man on the Moon.

Journal Entry 2 by wingvioloncellixwing at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, June 25, 2018

Released 3 yrs ago (6/26/2018 UTC) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


This book about African American women mathematicians who were human 'computers' in the 1940s-1960s has been thematically released at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. You can find the book near the pillar at the front door, which reminds us that the name 'computer science' was coined by Newell and Simon right here at CMU, and that the CMU SCS was in fact the first school of computer science in the world, when it was founded in 1979. They boast of 1 Nobel Prize and 12 Turing Awards!

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