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Thebook &quotHavingOur Say&quot The Delany Sistersrecounts the story of Bessie and Sadie Delany, two African-Americansisters whom both lived for over 100 years. They experiencedchildhood in North Carolina college campus. They were both daughtersto the first coloured Episcopal bishop, who was conceived a slave,and a woman with a mixed racial foundation. The two sisters survivedexperiences with sexism and racism in their personal diverse wayswith their family and each other’s support.

Sadiequietly and sweetly broke the obstructions to become the firstAfrican-American home-ec educator in New York City while Bessie, withher brand of outspokenness, turned into the second African-Americandental specialist in New York City. Furthermore, at the ages of 103and 101, the two sisters recounted their story to Amy Hill Hearth, awhite New York Times correspondent who distributed an article aboutthem. The overwhelming reaction propelled a film, a bestselling book,and a Broadway play.

Thestoryteller, Amy Hill Hearth delivers a prelude and gives logicalinformation at the opening in each of the seven parts of the book.Bessie and Sadie Delany are at times the sole storytellers andoccasionally the combined storytellers of chapters. Amy Hill Hearth`stone is sympathetic to the perspectives of the Delany sisters. Thisis apparent in her introduction, however, not in the strictlyjournalistic and objective information that she unobtrusively embedsinto the sisters` narratives.

Inher introduction, Amy Hill Hearth writes in first person`sperspective, developing a co-relation between her and the two sistersin the book. In her introductions of informational segments, sheutilizes the third person. The sisters use the first person`s viewwhen they portray their sections. When they are co-storytellers of achapter, they utilize the first person plural. Sadie and Bessie`sstories are significant for their subjectivity. Occasionally, Sadieand Bessie perceive historical matters in the same light, and atdifferent times, they see things differently. Hearth`s authenticreferences and segment acquaintances permit readers to read factuallyand to admire the force of the Delany sisters` perspectives.

Thetone that Sadie and Bessie Delany use is both open andconversational. The two sisters talk proudly about their account ofthe past, and both have a sense of humor. Though Sadie`s tone is evenand calm, Bessie can become be furious when talking about present andpast injustice.

Thebook narrates the two sisters’ well-lived lives that were full ofwit and wisdom. The chronicles start with their pure childhood inNorth Carolina. The sisters had a privileged and stimulatingupbringing. They were both raised on the facilities of St.Augustine`s School in North Carolina. Additionally, their father bythe name of Rev. Henry B. Delany was at that time the Vice-Principal.Nanny Logan, their mother, was an administrator and a teacher. NannyLogan`s mother was an African American woman, whereas her father wasa white farmer. The Jim Crow laws enactment incited the Delanysisters’ relocation to Harlem. Bessie migrated two years afterSadie had already arrived in New York in the year 1916.

Thetwo sisters were civil rights forerunners and successfulprofessionals. They survived faced sexism and racism in distinctiveapproaches. The sisters set their ambitions high, with both acquiringadvanced higher educations during an era when it was exceptionallyuncommon for the female gender, especially for the African-Americanwomen. The two sisters were successful in their carriers from the1920s until the time of their retirement.

Sadiewent to Pratt Institute and was then transferred to the ColumbiaUniversity where she was awarded a bachelor`s degree in the year 1920that certified her specialization in education, emulated by anexpert`s in education in 1925. Sadie was the first “colored”person that was allowed to instruct a Domestic Science class at thelevel of secondary school in the New York City state educationalsystem. Sadie retired in 1960. Conversely, Bessie was a Dental andOral Surgery graduate from the Columbia University`s School in 1923.She was the second African-American (colored) woman authorized tobecome a professional dentist in the New York state. She then retiredin the year 1956.

Sadieand Bessie Delany lived together for a long time in Harlem, New York.They eventually relocated to the Bronx while the place was stillrural, afterwards they moved to Mt. Vernon in the New York state,where they purchased a house with a quiet street and a garden. Thetwo lived together the all their lives and none of them got married.

Inconclusion, the Delany sisters were born into a southernAfrican-American family in late 19th century, a period when racistperspectives were dangerous and profoundly entrenched. They mustbecome adults to fulfill their dreams while battling the attitude andinstitutions that would prevent them. This demonstrates thesignificant conflict in the book. The themes of the book include thequest for education, the predominance of racism and sexism,name-calling and the power of naming. The motifs are Shades of blackand white, seating arrangements and rebby boys.


Delany,Sarah L, Annie E. Delany, and Amy H. Hearth. HavingOur Say: The Delany Sisters` First 100 Years.New York, N.Y: Dell Pub, 1994. Print.