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100-year-old woman shares wisdom, family’s Richmond legacy

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 8:02 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico woman who recently turned 100 years old is sharing her wisdom on a long life and her family’s Richmond legacy.

If you live to see 100 like Maxine Anderson Wright, you get to celebrate as long as you like. Born in 1921, she reached her milestone birthday on May 13. More than a hundred family members and friends traveled near and far to uplift a woman they respect and revere.

“I didn’t expect to be living here this long, really. I feel alright. If I could only walk and get about it would be better because I feel alright. My mind is good,” Wright said.

She has outlived two husbands, was a caregiver to both and has a brother who is 97 years old. Her pretty face made it on a Smucker’s jelly jar on NBC’s Today show where the anchors engaged in humorous banter about drinking wine and a shot of whiskey as the secret to long life. But, we got the real deal straight from the centenarian herself.

“I’ve never been a sickly person. I’ve always had good health. I didn’t think I’d be here this long, but here,” she said.

NBC12′s Diane Walker asked Wright about being a good girl and she laughed and added, “well, I don’t know about that.”

Her daughter, Jean Jones, attributes her mom’s healthy aging to lots of vegetables and water. Wright chalks it up to good genes as the reason for gorgeous skin, gorgeous hair and longevity. Wright says her father, Carroll W. Anderson, Sr., lived to be 97. He founded the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

Her dad also was the driving force, along with the Astoria Beneficial Club, to erect a statue to acclaimed Richmond native Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, “The King of Tap Dancers.” Emulating lessons from her father, Wright stresses being a good citizen and doing the right thing in life.

“I just like to see people get along. Regardless of what race they are they should get along together instead of fighting against the different races,” Wright said.

Wright grew up in the Navy Hill neighborhood of Richmond and was baptized at age 13 at First African Baptist Church where Dr. Rodney Waller is now Senior Pastor. She served as an usher. Wright is also on top of what church members do. She’s a fan of church member, actress, musical artist and educator, Desiree Roots.

“Yes, I saw her picture in the paper the other day,” she said.

But her focus continues to be faith, family and voting. It’s a victory in the struggle being able to vote for people of color, and Wright adds she always wanted to vote for a Black president and did twice for Barack Obama.

“It meant a lot to us, too. Him being in our race. The first Black president we had. It’s very good,” Wright said.

Maxine Wright is a modest lady and considers her children her greatest accomplishments and she says all three turned out nicely.

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