HAMPTON, Va. – A hometown hero wished to place the highlight on a gaggle of black girls whose roles in historical past had been neglected. She did that – and ended up receiving a lot extra.
On Wednesday, Hampton native and present Charlottesville resident Margot Lee Shetterly received the city’s Distinguished Citizen Medal for drawing nationwide consideration to an necessary chapter to its historical past in her e-book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”
The nonfiction e-book tells the story of the black feminine mathematicians – Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan – who helped launch Americans into orbit and land on the moon because of their calculations as “human computers” for Hampton’s NASA Langley Research Center. Johnson, Jackson and Vaughan did the maths earlier than the pc as we all know it was invented, all whereas overcoming racism and sexism within the course of.
“Hidden Figures” was tailored into the 2016 blockbuster movie starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner; it grossed $236 million on the field workplace, earned three Oscar nominations and was named a prime 10 movie by the National Board of Review.
In addition to bringing this exceptional story to the lots, the Phoebus High School graduate and University of Virginia alumna additionally based The Human Computer Project, which goals to get better the names and accomplishments of all the ladies who labored within the STEM fields at NACA and NASA from the 1930s till the 1980s.
The Distinguished Citizen Medal was established in 1964 and is Hampton’s model of a key to town and is awarded to individuals who “have been recognized with a state, national or international award that brings honor to the City of Hampton.” Shetterly is one in every of lower than three dozen recipients.