Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oldest Daughter of Slaves Dies

Lizzie Bolden (not to be confused, as I did for a moment with the infamous axe-murderer Lizzie Borden) lost her title as the oldest living person yesterday when she died at the age of 116 years and 118 days.

This woman was born in 1890! Her life spanned 3 centuries! And what always struck me as unbelievable was that a child of slaves was still alive in America today: Bolden's parents were slaves (!!) who only became free as a result of the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Just imagine the amazing stories this woman could have told us! Just imagine if she had taken the time, in her old age, to write some of them down or dictate them, or somehow give meaning in context to the breadth of her life. She was a living piece of history who could have offered what absolutely no one else can today: first-hand accounts of the aftermath of Reconstruction!

I guess, to be honest, that's why she lived so long: she didn't trouble herself with such concerns and details.
Rest in peace, Lizzie, at least there's one record you left behind: Guiness World Record for Oldest Living Person.