It is Tuesday, February 19, 2019, and the Lipscomb University campus in Nashville, Tennessee is buzzing with people on a cold, rainy evening. The English Department is hosting its Annual Landiss Lecture in the Collins Auditorium, and the featured speaker for this event is Mrs. Margot Lee Shetterly. Lipscomb University’s president, President L. Randolph Lowry and other persons responsible for coordinating this event extend a warm welcome to the audience. Mayor David Briley also delivers a heartfelt welcome. In this welcome, he passionately asks the attendees to do the following:
- “read Hidden Figures and read overall
- go to Parnassus Books, buy Hidden Figures, and spend more than you can afford (this comment generated much laughter from the audience)
- move the city (Nashville), the state (Tennessee), and the country (United States) forward
- obtain a Nashville Public Library card if you do not have one” (Welcome, Feb. 19).
After these words of encouragement, the speaker is introduced. Humble. Gracful. Poise. These are the words that come to mind as Margot Lee Shetterly walks to the podium. Shetterly excitedly tells the audience that Hidden Figures is a hit!” (Lecture, Feb. 19) Being black. Virginia. Women mathematicians. Work. American story. “These words represent Hidden Figures,” explains Shetterly. (Lecture, Feb. 19) Furthermore, Shetterly affirms that she has seen the movie numerous times and each time, she likes it more and more. She says that she has viewed Hidden Figures with family, friends, NASA employees, ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and other individuals and groups.
As she ends her lecture, Shetterly informs the audience that Dr. Christine Darden may come to Nashville, Tennessee to share her story as a “hidden figure”. Moreover, she states that she will be writing more books. Lastly, she leaves the audience to ponder the following questions: Who lives? Who dies? Who tells the story?
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