The title of this movie refers to ‘The Negro Motorist Green-Book’, which was a guidebook for black road travellers. It was published by Victor Hugo Green from the mid-thirties to the mid-sixties when discrimination against non-wites was the norm across much of, in particular, the southern US. Green’s book helped coloured people to find accommodations, restaurants and road houses where they would be welcome.
This film tells the story of a group of black female mathematicians who worked on the early NASA space programme. This being a time when the US was still racially segregated, the women had to endure “coloured only” bathrooms and even segregated water fountains while contributing to the space race with the Soviet Union. The film focuses on three women in particular, who are friends. Katherine Johnson is the most brilliant mathematician, drafted in to help NASA calculate flight trajectories in an age when computers were in their infancy and most calculations had to be done by hand.