This graphic novel is dedicated to the extraordinary life of Katherine Coleman Johnson, who in the more than one hundred years of her life has traversed a period of history between the end of the First World War to the present day with a sure hand and great tenacity. This excellent mathematics brings to a close the series of three graphic novels dedicated to female scientists such as EvaCalvino and Gerty Cori. The patience and perseverance of a woman of Creole origin who, although she excelled in her studies, knew that it would not be easy for her to reach her dream.
Katherine graduated at the age of 14 and enrolled at the historically black university, West Virginia State College, where her genius was recognised and nurtured. Later, in graduate school, she was chosen as one of three students to de-segregate West Virginia University in 1939.
With little more than a pencil, a slide rule and recognised today as one of the best mathematical minds in the country, Katherine Johnson, who died in 2020 at the age of 101 in a retirement home in Newport News, California, calculated the precise trajectories that would allow Apollo 11 to land on the Moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s historic moon walk, return to Earth.
This progress, however slow and arduous, was achieved thanks to women scientists like Katherine. They asked Katherine Johnson for the moon and she gave it to them!