Happy 100th, Viola Jackson!

admin | 5/10/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Miami Gardens Viola Jackson celebrated her 100th birthday on May 9th surrounded by friends, family and loved ones at a party held at the Hillcrest Golf and Country Club in Hollywood. I feel good, replied the centenarian when asked how is she doing. The 11th of 13 children, Jackson was born in Sharon, Georgia to Tom and Mary Edwards. She, along with her siblings, would spend many days helping their parents pick cotton. I had to do what my momma and daddy told me to do until I grew up, she recalled. But farm work was not always a mere duty, it was a way of life. We used to have so much fun racing [each other] to pick cotton the fastest, Jackson said. Once she was grown, she married Johnny Jackson. The two farmed their own plot of land, and soon had their only child, Virginia Bostic in January 1939. In search of better economic opportunities, the couple sent Virginia to live with relatives while they moved to Atlanta. While there, they made about a $1 a day and that was good money at the time when a loaf of bread cost just $.15, Bostic explained.Determined to find better employment, the couple reunited with their daughter and settled in Miami in the mid-1940s. Jackson was able to find employment as a live-in house keeper and worked six-days a week for a family in Sunny Isles until she retired in 1965. According to Bostic, her mother eventually provided day care services to working parents for several years until her failing health forced her to stop. Throughout her life, Jackson has been a loyal church goer, a place she has always enjoyed. I love it, she said. Listening to the preaching and the singing help you and it lifts you up. Its wonderful. Currently Jackson is a member of New Christ Tabernacle where the Reverend Harold Marsh is pastor. The aging matriarch was gravely ill and had to be hospitalized earlier this year due to kidney problems, however, she has managed to completely recover although she is no longer able to use her legs, according to Bostic.