My Remarkable Journey

Amistad. May 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780062897664. $25.99. MEMOIR
, Johnson began working in mathematical research at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). As a “human computer,” she, along with many other men and women, performed complicated calculations that assisted engineers in aeronautical safety. After NACA transformed into NASA in 1958, her work came to include calculating space trajectories, flight ascension, shuttle reentry, and shuttle safety. Johnson’s work at NASA is only one part of her extraordinary life, as recounted in this lovely posthumous memoir, co-written with her daughters. The memoir chronicles Johnson’s childhood in the mountains of West Virginia, her love of learning, her prodigious talent for math and music, and her career as a mathematician. Especially touching are Johnson’s recollections of historical events, such as World War II and the civil rights movement, and her relationships with her family, coworkers, and educators.
VERDICT Readers will enjoy Johnson’s personal accounts of the space race and the roles of Black women in STEM. This wonderful, insightful memoir is the perfect companion piece to Margot Lee Shetterly’s best-selling Hidden Figures, which recounted the lives of Johnson and her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
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