Mississippi Winn, born on March 31, 1897, died at the age of 113 on January 14, 2011. She was the last living child of former slaves, according to census records, and was one of the oldest people alive on Earth.
To put her longevity into context, Mississippi Winn lived through the entire 20th Century, meaning she was an adult woman when Marcus Garvey traveled to Geneva to present the Petition of the Negro Race to the League of Nations. She has survived 19 American Presidents. She was 28 Years old when Malcolm X was born, 29 when Martin Luther King was born, and saw both men assassinated. During her lifetime mankind went from the first airplane flight in 1903 to the launch of the International Space Station, and from the 1919 influenza pandemic to the unraveling of the human genome in 1996.
Mississippi Winn NEVER MARRIED, was a member of Avenue Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana for 82 years. Winn avoided dairy products, loved fruits and vegetables, and took one vitamin and aspirin per day. According to her obituary, Winn was one of eight children, including a sister who died in 2000 at age 100. Her favorite quote from the Bible: “Be ye kind one to another.”
Hers is a life truly to be celebrated, hers is an example to surely be followed, and her lifelong faith is one that should be forever commended. Rest in Peace, “Sweetie”.