106-Year-Old African American Woman Gets High School Diploma

reba williams

A 106-year-old Ohio woman is finally going to get her high school diploma.

Reba Williams said she completed high school in Mount Vernon in central Ohio but was denied her diploma because she refused to read a final book assigned by a teacher. She’d read the book once and didn’t want to read it again.

According to the Mansfield News Journal, the Mount Vernon Board of Education approved issuing Williams’ diploma earlier this month.

A retired English teacher at Mount Vernon High School had approached the board about giving Williams the diploma after reading about her earlier this year.

Williams was a longtime cook at what is now the state’s only working farm and park, called Malabar Farm State Park. She lives with her daughter, Lavata Williams, who said when she told her mother the news, Reba said with her typical sense of humor, “That’s nice.”

Lavata said she will frame the diploma and put it on the wall in front of her mother’s bed, alongside family photos her mother treasures.

“I called mother’s sister in Cincinnati (Jayne Prince). She’s 92,” Lavata said. “She was laughing.”