Betty Reid Soskin

On January 20, 2009, Betty Reid Soskin was sat in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC witnessing the inauguration of the first African American president of the United States. Tucked in the 88-year-old’s breast pocket was a portrait of her great-grandmother, born into slavery in 1846 in Louisiana.

As Betty sat through the ceremony she knew she was witnessing a part of history her great-grandmother would never have imagined possible. Today, Betty— now 95—lives in Richmond, Northern California, where as the oldest National Park Service employee in the USA, she has chosen a civic and moral duty to share the history she has lived. 

 To see more of our interview with Betty order your copy of issue #7 here.

All photography by Aaron Wojack.

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