Discussion on black women who helped win space race


Number 1 on both The New York Times bestseller list as well as at the movies, Margot Lee Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures” is what America is talking about — and now you can talk with her!

Shetterly will present “Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race” at 7 p.m. on February 8 on our Mount Carmel Campus.

She will share the story of how black “human computers” used math to change their own lives — and America’s future. Set against the rich backdrop of World War II, the Space Race, the Civil Rights Era and the burgeoning fight for gender equality, this talk brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who worked as mathematicians at NASA during the golden age of space travel.

Teaching math at segregated schools in the South, they were called into service during the WWII labor shortages. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had jobs worthy of their skills at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, in Hampton, Virginia. Even as Jim Crow laws segregated them from their white counterparts, the women of this all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. They were part of a group of hundreds of black and white women who, over the decades, contributed to some of NASA’s greatest successes.

A book signing will follow.

Tag your friends so they don’t miss out on this free lecture open to the public at Burt Kahn Court on our Mount Carmel Campus. See a complete list of University events at calendar.quinnipiac.edu.

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