Katherine G. Johnson, a physicist, and a mathematician who started high school when she was 10 years old, and college when she was 15, she died in 2020 at the age of 102.
I want to honor this human-computer genius because of what she represents to me: intelligence, character, courage, strength, love for science, life, for freedom. I just love one of her quotes: “I didn’t feel any segregation. I knew it was there, but I didn’t feel it.” Oh, I forgot to tell you: she is an American woman who was considered a “colored computer” when she worked for NASA back in the fifties (color, gender, race, country patriotism are not that important to me. Intelligence is)
I mention one of her many quotes because that happens to me all the time. While people talk about being discriminated against because they are short, fat, thin, black, brown, white, yellow, tall, thin, whatever ( I am sure I fit in many of these “colorful” name-callings), I just care about going on, about to continue with my interests in life: I am focussed. And that is what she was: a focussed-stubborn very smart woman who didn’t waste her time on menial things. She dedicated her mind to science. Political and social hate was put to the side, off the path she walked.
It is an honor for me to walk this earth Mrs. Katherine Johnson walks. It is a privilege for me to live on this earth at the same time Mrs. Johnson lives. 100 years old and she breathes the same air I do. How lucky I am! I send her my most utter respect and admiration for her work in science and exemplary life as a human being.
Dr. Martha A. Castro Noriega, MD ©