Everyone in America (and quite possibly the world) would have benefitted from getting a chance to hear a living griot. Not that Ms. Daisey Bailey was an official griot, but surely with being 113 years and 342 days old, there was a story to tell. She’s a Detroiter, but according to AOL News, she was born March 30, 1896, in Tennessee. There’s not much information given on her history as of yet, but AOL News reported that she would “carry wood on her shoulders” to do her part to help warm their home.
Google printed an obituary for Ms. Bailey that reads:
Bailey, then aged just 14, married 20-year-old Will Ready in 1910.
Will died sometime during the 1930s. Bailey worked on a plantation and
did housework and cutting wood. After living in Wilson County all of
her life, she moved to Pontiac, Michigan in 1943.
She had four children (all deceased), 20 grandchildren, and 30 great-
She moved into 25-year-old Helen Walker’s residence in 1953 to help
raise her young children. In the 1990s, she moved in with her 71-year-
old granddaughter Helen Arnold, and lived in Detroit, Michigan till
The other very interesting part to this story is that there was another “supercentenarian” woman who died yesterday. Ms. Mary Josephine Ray was the oldest in the U.S. and second oldest woman in the world. And she…was white. NOW! Imagine these two women in the room at the same time and both of their American stories. We haven’t heard one word between them, but it’s still amazing, right? Just thinking about what they would’ve shared with us and even taught one another. On Sunday, Ray passed away in the morning and Bailey in the evening.
Read about them here.