Oh, the things that she’s seen!

June 12, 2016

She was 116 years, 311 days old when she died last month. Susannah Mushatt Jones was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person on earth.

She and Emma Morano of Verbania, Italy, were the only people born before the 20th century still alive by mid-May.

Her mother had been born into slavery in Alabama, and Susannah grew up on a sharecropper’s farm, but she was determined to live a better life. She graduated from Calhoun Boarding High School in 1922 and was accepted into the Tuskegee Institute’s Teacher’s Program, but her parents could not afford the tuition.

She moved to New York City in 1923, during the early days of the Harlem Renaissance. Both before and after her relocation, she witnessed the wonders of the mature epoch of the Industrial Revolution...

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