I absolutely love reading about Katherine Johnson and her work with NASA so I was thrilled when I saw that she had written a memoir that I had the chance to review!  If you’re not aware of Katherina Johnson – she was a black woman who is most well known for her role at NASA as a “human computer” and doing the math equations to help with their launches.  Since she was black, no one really knew about her and her work until the film Hidden Figures came out which tells the story about her and a few of her colleagues. (I especially liked in the book where Katherine talked about who were composite characters and what was added to the movie for dramatic purposes and what really happened.)  But beyond being a human computer, Katherine led a fascinating life and just recently passed away (February 2020 at the age of 101!)

Katherine was always very smart, especially with Math, and skipped some grades.  She was growing up in a time where blacks didn’t have as many opportunities as whites with schooling, but her parents found schooling to be very important and would move the family around when needed to make sure that the children could be enrolled in school. She also lived through a lot of changes in racial rights and one could only have wished that things weren’t better after her 101 years.

This was an absolutely amazing read and definitely recommended by me.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The remarkable woman at heart of the smash New York Times bestseller and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures tells the full story of her life, including what it took to work at NASA, help land the first man on the moon, and live through a century of turmoil and change.

In 2015, at the age of 97, Katherine Johnson became a global celebrity. President Barack Obama awarded her the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—for her pioneering work as a mathematician on NASA’s first flights into space. Her contributions to America’s space program were celebrated in a blockbuster and Academy-award nominated movie.

In this memoir, Katherine shares her personal journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to NASA human computer. In her life after retirement, she served  as a beacon of light for her family and community alike.  Her story is centered around the basic tenets of her life—no one is better than you, education is paramount, and asking questions can break barriers. The memoir captures the many facets of this unique woman: the curious “daddy’s girl,” pioneering professional, and sage elder.

This multidimensional portrait is also the record of a century of racial history that reveals the influential role educators at segregated schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities played in nurturing the dreams of trailblazers like Katherine. The author pays homage to her mentor—the African American professor who inspired her to become a research mathematician despite having his own dream crushed by racism.

Infused with the uplifting wisdom of a woman who handled great fame with genuine humility and great tragedy with enduring hope, My Remarkable Journey ultimately brings into focus a determined woman who navigated tough racial terrain with soft-spoken grace—and the unrelenting grit required to make history and inspire future generations.

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