GUINNESS REFUSES TO GIVE “OLDEST” TITLE TO BLACK WOMAN
(blackmediaSCOOP) Brazil’s Maria Gomes Velentim, who would have turned 115 on July 9 died this week of multiple organ failures.
Now Georgia’s Besse Cooper has become the oldest in the world. (see above) Guinness World Records announced Mrs Cooper’s succession to the title listing her age as 114 year and 299 days.
Cooper actually held the title previously but lost it in May when authorities documented Valentim’s records. However one 119 year old African American granny says not so fast. You may recall we told you the story about Ms. Rebecca Lanier.
The african American granny Lanier has outlived her 2 kids and now lives with her 61 year old grandson. This spring she celebrated another milestone and yet Guinness World Records wants to play her!
The Federal government has already verified that Lanier is 119 but Guinness World Records refuses to give her props as the oldest person alive because she doesn’t have a valid birth certificate.
Well hell she was born to slave parents from Mississippi in 1892 and if you know history, many times, slaves were DENIED birth certificates during this time in the south. This was normal during 1890s in the South that even though slavery had ended almost 30 years earlier. Lanier wasn’t issued a birth certificate back in 1892 because in Mississippi back then, blacks were just not issued the certificate.
Ms. Lanier beats the current person Guinness recognizes as the oldest by 5 years. Check out her video
According to Senior Guinness World Records Gerontology consultant Robert Young, a family-history search of census records supports the notion that Rebecca Shambley (as was her maiden name) was born in 1905, not 1892. “An investigation into Ms. Lanier’s age located two census records that suggest she was born in 1905 or 1906 (age 14 in 1920; age 24 in 1930). Both the 1920 and 1930 census reports were based on verbal responses, so even with any slight misspellings, this shouldn’t deter us from recognizing who is who.”
Guinness World Records is continuing to look into an earlier census match from 1900 or 1910.
Guinness had this to say …
Guinness World Records is aware of Rebecca Lanier’s claim as the potential title holder for the ‘Oldest Living Person’.
In order for Guinness World Records to verify a title holder for the ‘Oldest Living Person’, verifiable proof of birth is required, which in this case must include (but is not limited to) a birth certificate. This can include a 1900 census match, as done with our previous 2009 title holder and daughter of slaves, Gertrude Baines. Social Security records, or what is deemed “late-life documents” are not an acceptable source of proof on their own as these often contain inflated ages for those who applied before the age of computerization. They are also not accurate as there have been cases in which individuals add years to their age to retire early.
Let’s get Guinness to give this lady her props while she’s still alive. There is a facebook page set up and even a twitter page running. Share it with your tweeps and facebook friends now.