For Margot Lee Shetterly, growing up around black women who were NASA scientists and engineers was normal.
Many of them were her father’s co-workers and her neighbors in the Hampton, Virginia community where she grew up. “I knew so many African Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did," Shetterly told NBCBLK.
“These were also people that were Girl Scout troop leaders. They went to church. They were my parent’s friends so the fortunate part of it was that it just seemed normal.”
It was not until a few years ago when her father, a retired NASA research scientist, casually mentioned the work of Katherine Johnson and other black women that helped America win the Space Race, that Shetterly thought “well why haven’t we heard about it before?”