Today we are all celebrating the birthday of Ms. Katherine Johnson who for many of us is the ultimate definition of #blackgirlmagic and Black Excellence. She calculated trajectories for the Apollo space missions by hand and attributes her mathematical abilities to her practice of counting.
“I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.” So said Katherine Johnson, recipient of the 2015 National Medal of Freedom.
When Katherine was asked about her longevity health she said via The Daily Press:
“I’m just lucky — the Lord likes me,” she says. Then, after a pause to reflect on that sentiment, she adds, “And I like him.”
The former “human computer” at NASA Langley Research Center — whose intricate, done-by-hand calculations sent men into space and brought them back safely — turns 100 on Sunday. She plans to mark that milestone with a trip to West Virginia State University, where her alma mater will unveil a statue of her likeness and endow a scholarship in her name. School president Anthony Jenkins calls her “someone who changed America.”
“She’s the only person I know who says she enjoyed every single day of her career at work — and she truly means it,” – “She brought intellectual talent to her job but she also brought something more: an avid sense of curiosity about the world, and an openness to other people. She brings that to the rest of her life as well. We can all take a lesson from how Ms. Katherine Johnson has lived her life.”
Katherine was played by Taraji P. Henson in the movie Hidden Figures:
Happy Birthday Ms. Johnson!