This is one of those stories that only happens in Atlanta. Cradle of black churches, black colleges and the most deeply rooted black middle class in the country, it's the kind of place where you would expect to find a woman who was born not long after Plessy v. Ferguson, graduated from Morris Brown College in 1922 and lives on Martin Luther King Drive -- across from Booker T. Washington High School.
Ann Nixon Cooper is old enough to have been a Negro, a Colored woman, black an Afro-American and our current designation. I think that's what they mean by containing multitudes.
In the moments after Obama was elected we heard various strains of black recollection -- most centered on the still clear memories of Jim Crow. But Ms. Cooper came along when the paint on the Whites Only signs was still wet and now holds the distinction of being the only black person to receive a shout-out during a Presidential acceptance speech.
Today she celebrated her 107th birthday with several dozen well-wishers crowded into her home. She stood up and blew out her candles which was a fairly reserved performance considering the pictures of her doing the electric slide on her 103rd.
(Forgive the grainy quality of the images -- this is what happens when you get the random blessing of being able to sing happy birthday to a 107 year old woman and only have a cell phone camera to prove you were actually there.)
Ms. Cooper with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin
The compromise since 107 candles is probably a bit much.