Champion of the Month

Pearl Bassett Share

Jul 1, 2016  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Pearl Bas­sett was born on April 28th, 1911. Pearl has been alive for over a cen­tu­ry, hav­ing turned 107 years old in 2018. She is a life­long res­i­dent of Mar­i­on, Indi­ana. Pearl was notably the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic Precinct Chair­woman in Grant Coun­ty, Indi­ana. She also served as the first Black Sec­re­tary of the Grant Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. Pearl marched with 350 peo­ple in 1969 fight­ing for civ­il rights. She is the recip­i­ent of many local, state, and nation­al hon­ors includ­ing the NAACP Unsung Hero­in Award; the Fran­cis Hook Award, the NAACP’s high­est hon­or for women; and the Cen­tu­ri­on Award, pre­sent­ed by Gov­er­nor Mike Pence in 2003. These awards are in response to her ground-shak­ing activism and devo­tion to the social and civ­il rights of African Americans.

Pearl Bas­sett has been a woman of strong faith through­out her life. 

It is won­der­ful that God has helped me live this long. There are so many killings, and it makes you think about what it means to be alive. I’m very proud that I’ve lived this long.” – Pearl Bassett

I’m proud to have been born and raised in Grant Coun­ty.” – Pearl Bassett