WINSTON-SALEM -- Margot Shetterly, the author of Hidden Figures, shared some inspiration with Wake Forest University students Monday.
Her book was the basis for the Academy-award nominated movie about black female mathematicians working for NASA starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.
Shetterly's father was among the first black NASA engineers and scientists.
"He pushed me into math and science classes, and he forced me to do my calculus homework, of course. And it never occurred to me that black people couldn't be scientists because the very first scientist I knew was a black man and the very first black man I knew was a scientist,” said Shetterly.
Shetterly also founded the Human Computer Project, an archive of the stories of NASA's black "computers,” who performed critical work not only in the space race, but during World War II and the Cold War.