Mary Wright

Mary Wright (center) with her two daughters: Alice Smith (left) and Minnie Johnston (right)


Mary Wright (née Henriksen) is 131 years old today.  I cannot attend her birthday party because I am still alive and not vaccinated.

Mary Wright went from Spirit to flesh in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday June 4, 1892.  She grew up in Oslo, but left when she was 20 in 1912.

Mary said that there were lots of Negroes, Blacks, and Coloured People (Pick a term that does not offend.) in Oslo while she was growing up.  She had a schoolteacher whose parents were white and black.  She said he was very dark-skinned, but had one brown eye and one blue eye.  She also said that mixed marriages were common, and everyone got along.

Mary came to Toronto, Canada, in 1913.  What a shock for her when she fell in love with and married William Wright, a colored man.  She could never understand racism because skin color was not an issue in Oslo while growing up.

Mary and William had six children: two girls and four boys.

Mary Wright was “Nana” to me.

People often asked me, “Weren’t you confused about having a white grandmother?”

“No, she was my nana.  Nothing confusing about that.”



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About the Author

I am Minnie and Chic's son.