Guinness Book Of World Record’s Denies African-American Woman Title
They always say “age ain’t nothing but a number”, but Rebecca Lanier of Ohio could argue that her age is a badge of honor that should be recognized. At 119 years old, Lanier is the oldest living person in the world. But why haven’t you heard of her? That’s because the Guinness Book of World Records refuses to acknowledge her because she has no birth certificate.
- Lanier, of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, who was born in March 1892,
- the daughter of slave parents, has seventh-generation grandchildren and outlived her husband and their two daughters.
- It was common during the 1890s that African American children were born without a birth certificate.
Lack of a birth certificate causes a significant problem according to the Guinness Book of World Records due to the fact that they need the certificate to verify age. Lanier’s grandson, Jimmie Shambley, 61, says that she does however have a letter from the Social Security Administration that states her birth as 1892.
Rebecca Lanier celebrated her 119th birthday at Warrensville Heights Senior Center on Tuesday.
Watch her birthday celebration below:
- During her life Mrs Lanier has witnessed more than 20 presidents and lived through major events such as two world wars, the birth of flying and the right for women to vote.
- Interestingly, Guinness Book of World Record identified Georgia great-great grandmother Besse Cooper this month as the world’s oldest living person.
Readers, do you believe that the lack of recognition without a birth certificate creates an unfair opportunity for African Americans? It is common knowledge that during that time, African Americans were born without birth certificates as they were born to slaves and seen not as American citizens.
Should Guinness Book of World Records reconsider this policy given the history of African Americans? Doesn’t this story help you to realize how much more privileged we are?! Birth Certificates are something we don’t even think twice about!
Count Your Blessings!