A few weeks ago, I read the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly. I really liked the book and can’t imagine the movie covering one tenth the ground it did. There is so much context and background in the book, and yet I know the author was still only scratching the surface.
This is not a review of the book (review = excellent. Read it). I just want to say something about the book, something that I thought about as I read it but that is even more relevant after the recent events in Charlottesville.
A lot of this book is about racism at its ugliest, but also how some people were able to rise above it, or perhaps “rise in spite of it” would be a better phrase. A little background about how hard it was for people of color, and blacks in particular, to get ahead in the pre-World War II era was needed to place the events of the book in context. There were black professionals back then, but for the most part they were segregated, dealing with the black community at much lower pay than their white counterparts. The idea brought out in the book that they had to accomplish twice as much to achieve half of the recognition, unfortunately, is still with us to some degree to this day. Continue reading