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Cleveland Book Week Highlights: “Hidden Figures” Author Margot Lee Shetterly In Conversation With Cleveland Students

Students from the Tri-C Creative Arts Academy perform “Hidden,” under the portraits of the women who inspired the dance: Mary Jackson, Kathleen Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn.

Hundreds of Cleveland students joined author Margot Lee Shetterly at Cleveland State University in early September for a student-centric discussion of “Hidden Figures,” which took home the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf prize for nonfiction. 

The gathering began with an original, soul-stirring interpretation of “Hidden Figures” in dance from the Tri-C Creative Arts Dance Academy. High school students, most enrolled in the Cleveland School of the Arts, performed “Hidden,” a vibrant period piece, choreographed by Terence Greene. 

Shetterly then came onto the stage, thanking the students for carrying the work forward in a fresh medium. Three Cleveland Metropolitan School District high schoolers — Natalie Parsons, Kymari Williams and Darell Cannon —  interviewed the author, probing on her advice, and her inspiration: “I wanted to give [the women of ‘Hidden Figures’] a star turn…for them to be as fully realized as stories we get about presidents and other famous people in history…I wanted that portrayal for these women and for myself and by extension the rest of us.” 

John Hay High School graduate and Howard freshman Zephaniah Galloway closed out the program, reciting her 2017 “Stop the Hate” Maltz Foundation prize-winning essay.

Watch the event below — including the full performance of “Hidden” — and join our mailing list to be among the first to hear the lineup for Cleveland Book Week 2018. 

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