Women Do Math (in the movies)

Now here’s a heartwarming story for International Women’s Day. Back in the 1960s, three brilliant African-American mathematicians — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson — were the brains behind NASA’s Friendship 7 program that launched John Glenn into space. Their story is told in the book, Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly (due out in September). And recently casting has been announced for a 2017 movie based on the book. Taraji P. Henson was already on board to play Johnson. She has now been joined by Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

Yep, that’s the Archandroid, in the movies, in a story about the early days of the space program. Awesome.

Kudos as well to Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley who are apparently in Shetterly’s book but not yet in the movie, probably because Hollywood likes to combine people into single roles for easy of story-telling.

Seriously, go read Shetterly’s website. It is great. Also, while you are about it, get Hannu Rajaniemi’s Collected Fiction and read “The Haunting of Apollo A7LB”.

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