Columbus native celebrates 100th birthday, recognized as local holiday

Rosie Lee Mitchell Harris

COLUMBUS, Miss (WCBI)- A Columbus native who has spent her life helping women look and feel their best has 100 reasons and more to celebrate.

It’s unusual for a person of interest to sit in the front seat of a squad car, but Mrs. Rosie Lee Mitchell Harris hasn’t done anything wrong. She’s being escorted by city officials on a very special day.

The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and the City of Columbus recognized February 7 as Rosie Lee Mitchell Harris Day. The longtime business owner and educator made it to a milestone birthday.

“She said I am just trying to make it to 100 because 99 won’t do,” Young said.

Family, friends, and the community are all celebrating a century of life. And most want to know what’s the secret to longevity.

“When people ask that same question, I tell them to live, and you’ll know how it feels,” Harris said.

Harris is likely the oldest hairstylist and instructor in the Columbus area. Not only did she believe in beauty and style what was more important to her was for her and others too.

“Get an education,” Williams said.

Harris reflects on the challenges she faced during segregation, being one of the few licensed hairstylists and instructors in the area. She was also a trailblazer in bringing head-start education to the African American community, starting within Sanders Chapel, Missionary Union Baptist Church, Turner Chapel Church, and Canaan Baptist.

“I don’t consider either hard; I just learned the basics, ” Harris said.

And most of all, Harris said what she has lived by these years is honoring the golden rule and giving back to her community.

“Be honest, and don’t forget where you came from,” Harris said.

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Categories: Featured, Local News