BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In a quest to tell the story of African Americans overlooked by historians, the author of “Hidden Figures” is focusing on Baltimore for her next book.
WJZ takes a look at the two prominent families that will fill the pages.
Before Margot Lee Shetterly’s book and the Oscar nominated movie “Hidden Figures,” few people knew the story behind the brilliant African American women at NASA.
Just as that incredible, untold story was brought to life on paper and on screen, Shetterly hopes to do the same for the stories behind two prominent African American families who are known in Baltimore, but not yet to the entire nation.
The Adams family – led by William “Little Willie” Adams, the west Baltimore businessman, venture capitalist, political heavyweight and philanthropist – and the Murphy family – led by patriarch John Henry Murphy, who founded the Afro-American newspaper, and along with his children, turned it into one of the country’s most widely read black publications.
The paper has crusaded for racial equality and economic advancement for African Americans for more than a century.
“The Murphy’s are a very industrious, prolific group of people,” said John Oliver, a fourth generation member of the Murphy family.
Oliver, an Afro-American publisher, says he’s excited for this story to unfold, maybe even on the big screen.
“It does truly reflect the challenges – particularly in mid-20th century – black businesses had to endure to get on their feet, off their knees, and begin to assert themselves in an environment that was not really friendly.”
Shetterly is coming to Baltimore later this summer. She will be the featured speaker at the newspaper’s gala in August.
The book doesn’t yet have a title or release date.