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Warm, feisty, and intelligent, the Delaney sisters speak their minds in a book that is at once a vital historical record and a moving portrait of two sisters who love, laugh, and embrace life after one hundred years of living side by side. Their sharp memories show us the post-Reconstruction of the South and Booker T Washington; Harlem's Golden Age and Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson. Bessie breaks barriers to become a dentist; Sadie quietly integrates the New York City school system as a high school teacher. Their important contribution to our nation's heritage an an indelible impression on our lives.
Filled with humorous and poignant anecdotes, this New York Times bestselling dual memoir offers a rare glimpse into the birth of black freedom and the rise of the black middle class in America. Sadie and Bessie's lifelong insights provide readers with a priceless oral history of our nation's past century.
Sarah L. Delany and Dr. Elizabeth Delany were born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the campus of St. Augustine's College. Their father, born into slavery and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, was an administrator at the college and America's first elected black Episcopal bishop. Sarah received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Teachers College at Columbia University and was New York City's first appointed black home economics teacher on the high school level. Elizabeth received her doctor of dental surgery degree from Columbia University in 1923 and was the second black woman licensed to practice dentistry in New York. Dr. Elizabeth Delany died in September 1995, at the age of 104. Sarah Delany died in January 1999, at the age of 109.
Amy Hill Hearth is a Peabody Award-winning writer and New York Times bestselling author who specializes in oral histories of older women.
"I felt proud to be an American citizen reading Having Our Say...the two voices, beautifully blended...evoke an epic history...often cruel and brutal, but always deeply humane."—New York Times Book Review
"The Lord won't hold it against me that I'm colored because he made me that way! He thinks I am beautiful! And so do I even with all my wrinkles!"—Bessie Delany, at age 102
"This Jim Crow mess was pure foolishness. It's not law anymore, but it's still in some people's hearts. I just laugh it off, child. I never let prejudice stop me from what I wanted to do in this life."—Sadie Delany, at age 104
"This book is destined to become a classic! The Delany sisters—leave to us the best of legacies-two sets of dancing footprints for us to follow all our days ahead."—Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves
"An unforgettable testimony to the dignity and courage of African-American women."—Shirlee Taylor Haizlip