Merry Christmas, Sue and Duchess! Abdo gave us the best Christmas gift ever — our book Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA launched yesterday.
Our book is features the three women in Margot Shetterly’s Hidden Figures but it tells about other women as well, including Duchess’ grandmother Miriam Harris Mann. That’s why Duchess wanted to write the book — she wanted to tell the story of all of the women. And she wanted to tell it for young readers in a way that anchored it into the larger history.
This larger history is vitally important but also too little understood. Most people get that these women faced discrimination because they were black. But they also faced discrimination because they were women. It seems like a no brainer but I was amazed to realize that no one had studied these women. Research on black NASA scientists focused on male engineers. Research on women at NASA focused on women computers but sidelined the black women. In fact, the only place they got equal time was an unpublished manuscript in the NASA library.
In a time when people need to be inspired, this is a story that needed to be told. What an honor to get to work on it. Merry Christmas to me!