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Hidden Figures - COMmon Read 2017-2018  

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2017 URL: http://libguides.marin.edu/hiddenfigures Print Guide

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Left of Black: Interview of Margot Lee Shetterly

"Left of Black" host Dr. Mark Anthony Neal sits down with author Margot Lee Shetterly to discuss her new book, Hidden Figures. From the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University.


Dedication Ceremony for Katherine Johnson Building

NASA commemorated the many contributions of retired mathematician Katherine Johnson to America’s space program during a building dedication ceremony on May 5, at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Langley’s new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility was formally dedicated to the venerated mathematician and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

Johnson worked at Langley from 1953 until her retirement in 1986, beginning as a research mathematician -- part of a pool of women hired to perform mathematical equations and calculations by hand for engineers. She quickly distinguished herself and was permanently assigned to the branch that would later calculate the launch windows for NASA’s first Project Mercury flights.

Notable accomplishments include her computation, by hand, of the launch window and trajectory for Alan Shepard’s maiden space voyage aboard Freedom 7 in 1961, and verification, also by hand, of calculations made by the first computers for John Glenn's history-making orbit around the Earth in 1962. She also calculated the trajectory for the historic Apollo 11 first moon landing flight in 1969. From NASA.


President Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to seventeen recipients in the East Room of the White House on November 24, 2015. See especially minute 1:03, and, later, 30:24 for parts related to Katherine Johnson. From the Obama White House: National Archives and Records Administration.


White House Hidden Figures Event

"The event features the stories of individuals who have made significant contributions to human space flight, space science, and innovation but who have not often had their stories told. The event also includes a Q&A with the cast and crew of the movie Hidden Figures."

Michelle Obama gives an amazing speech starting at about minute 28. Margot Lee Shetterly introduces the First Lady starting at about minute 24.

"You have to believe in you first."

                     - Michelle Obama, video, minute 37:57. From the Obama White House: National Archives and Records Administration.


Real People Behind NASA’s Hidden Figures

NASA kicked off a yearlong centennial celebration for its Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, with events Dec. 1 highlighting the critical work done by the African American women of Langley’s West Computing Unit, a story told in the book and upcoming movie “Hidden Figures”. During a NASA education event that was streamed to schools across the country, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Film director Ted Melfi, NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry, who consulted on the film, and NASA Modern Figure Julie Williams-Byrd, an electro-optics engineer for the Space Mission Analysis Branch at Langley, discussed the work of past and present NASA figures benefits humanity and enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space, including the agency’s Journey to Mars. From NASA.  More NASA videos related to to African American themes.


What Matters - Katherine Johnson: NASA Pioneer and "Computer"

Uploaded on Feb 25, 2011. An incredible conversation with a NASA Langley pioneer, Katherine Johnson, who worked at NASA Langley in Hampton during the 1950's—a woman and an African-American who broke through barriers and made history along the way. From WHRO, Hampton Roads, Virginia, PBS.

Pharrell Williams & Janelle Monae Discuss STEM

"Hidden Figures cast member Janelle Monáe (plays Mary Jackson) and Executive Producer Pharrell Williams, visited Google Atlanta to chat about their new film with computer science students from historically black colleges and universities and Googlers." From "Talks at Google."


Margot Lee Shetterly: AtlanticLive

"The Untold Story of the Space Race / WHAT'S NEXT?" Margot Lee Shetterly, Author, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race with John Donvan. Published on Oct 6, 2016. From AtlanticLive, part of "The Atlantic."

The whole interview is great, but check out the part at minute 23, when Ms. Shetterly discusses the differences between the movie and the book and the problem of people not believing that the whole "Hidde Figures" episode of history actually happened.


Margot Lee Shetterly: Chicago Humanities Festival

"Margot Lee Shetterly: The Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race." An amazingly inspirational interview of Margot Lee Shetterly. Published on Dec 27, 2016. From the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Key moments in this wonderful interview:

For the importance of being open to new careers throughout your life, please see minute 18 through minutes 21.

For the importance of failure in the sciences and in the writing process, please see minute 21 through minute 25. Key quotes from this section: "There is no improvement without failure." "Failure is your muse." "I am a big, big fan of re-writing."


The Power of Hidden Figures and Diversity in STEM

"Soledad O’Brien hosted a panel on the importance of diversity in STEM fields, presented by IBM and featuring special guests from the Twentieth Century Fox film, ‘Hidden Figures,’ and leaders from the industry. Soledad was joined by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, the film’s director Theodore Melfi, Elizabeth Gabler (President Fox 2000 Pictures), Leah Gilliam (Girls Who Code), Rashid Ferrod Davis (P-TECH), Lindsay-Rae McIntyre (IBM Chief Diversity Officer) and Kristen Summers (Watson Public Sector)." From IBM. Published on Jan 15, 2017.


Octavia Spencer and Dev Patel

"Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer sat down for a chat for Variety’s 'Actors on Actors.'" December 2, 2016. Recommended by Anna Pilloton, Director of School and Community Partnerships at College of Marin.


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