by BOTWC Staff via https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/
She’s had a century of lives worth living!
The first Black woman to graduate from Grinnell College recently celebrated her 107th birthday, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Dr. Edith Renfrow Smith was born in 1914 in Grinnell, Iowa. She is the fifth of six children born to Lee and Eva Pearl Renfrow. For someone who’s lived more than 100 years, Smith remembers a lot about her early childhood. She has particularly fond memories of playing with her sister at their home on 1st Avenue or Sunday afternoons when her mother would make Jell-O with black walnuts in it. She also recalls how young men from Grinnell College would frequent the Renfrow home on Sundays alongside other visitors looking to hang out at one of the few Black homes in the town.
“They would come, sing songs – not all of them, the ones that liked to sing. There were 10 of them,” recalled Smith.
The 10 she’s referring to are the 10 Black undergraduate students at Grinnell College, the ones given scholarships by Chicago Sears executive Julius Rosenwald. He dedicated millions of dollars…