Book Hack
Hidden FiguresBy Margot Lee Shetterly

In a Nutshell

This book tells the story of NASA from the perspective of its unacknowledged Black female employees, who took computing jobs at a wartime laboratory and assumed responsibility for humankind's 'giant leap' into space.

Favorite Quote

It's a story of hope, that even among some of our country's harshest realities – legalized segregation, racial discrimination – there is evidence of the triumph of meritocracy, that each of us should be allowed to rise as far as our talent and hard work can take us.

Margot Lee Shetterly


On July 21, 1969, two men walked on the moon for the first time. A couple of decades earlier, in an inconspicuous room of the Langley Research Center, a group of Black women began careers that would make that achievement possible.

Margot Lee Shetterly is an author and founder of the Human Computer Project, which archives the work of female computers and mathematicians who worked at NASA and its predecessor, NACA.

Shetterly was born in Hampton, Virginia, a month before the moon landing. Her father worked as an engineer at Langley, at a time when 1% of engineers were Black.

Hidden Figures details the early years of NACA and NASA, shining a light on the unsung Black women who battled widespread racism and sexism to contribute to America's greatest scientific triumph.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

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    The Black women of NASA had to fight for their success
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