“What is all the fuss about? I was only doing my job.” By Katherine G. Johnson
This past weekend has been very extraordinary…to say the least. I attended the memorial service for Katherine G. Johnson held Saturday, March 7. The Hampton, Virginia community and area poured out its love for Aunt Katherine and its condolences to the family. To them and certainly us the family, Aunt Katherine was a true “shero”.
Dignitaries, astronauts, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, church members, and others joined the huge family in honoring the life and achievements of Aunt Katherine. Being among so many family members and friends was an unforgettable experience. Seeing two of my three remaining Aunts and many of my cousins not seen for years, was just wonderful and filled with human highlights.
And, if there was a truly unexpected highlight, it would be meeting the author of “Hidden Figures”, Margot Lee Shetterly. It was a true honor to meet and speak with her. I thanked her for all the work she did which resulted in the “hidden” being brought to light for the world to see. I am personally much more a fan of the book and author than the movie. In some ways, Ms. Shetterly is also a “Hidden Figure”. Thank you Ms. Shetterly!
The Copey Learning Center
Aunt Katherine’s influence on young students is clearly established. Powerful messages such as; “young students can dream to be anything they want” and “young students live at a time when traveling beyond the moon can be a dream that can come true because of Aunt Katherine.” She was a model student, worker, community advocate, church member, and family matriarch and touched us all in many different ways.
We often look at Aunt Katherine’s career and the final outcome of a life well lived. I fear we may tend not looked as closely at the importance of her family…her parents. Aunt Katherine’s parents made a critical life decision when her family moved 125 miles to a town that provided better educational opportunities for 10 year old Aunt Katherine.
This was crucial as it placed Aunt Katherine on the path of life that would allow her to realize her potential. This very unconventional decision can be credited for positioning Aunt Katherine for greatness. There were many others who by “divine intervention” influenced her life but the parent’s decision to change the “trajectory” was the first critical decision in my opinion.
Another “divine intervention” showed up. The parents of Copey also made a critical educational decision when they established the Copey Learning Center. Their purpose was to change the “trajectory” for the future of their children. They all could not move 125 miles to a better community so they did the next best thing…they established the Copey Learning Center to provide the educational advantage needed for their children to have a chance at a better life.
We are honoring Aunt Katherine’s legacy by supporting the Copey Learning Center because we are actively involved in changing the “trajectory” as we support the efforts of the parents in Copey. We are honored to be in the trenches, actively engaged, devoted and committed to making differences in young lives Aunt Katherine also inspired to achieve. The “Eagle Soars”…even in Copey!
“Thanks so much…”Friends”