"Having Our Say" by the Delaney Sisters

Essay by angie2424University, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 2.0

The social, cultural and political history of America as it affects the life course of American citizens became very real to us as the Delaney sisters, Sadie and Bessie, recounted their life course spanning a century of living in their book "Having Our Say." The Delaney sisters lives covered the period of their child hood in Raleigh, North Carolina, after the surrender of their adults lives in Harlem, New York City during the roaring twenties. To a quiet retirement in suburban, New York City, as self-styled "maiden ladies." At the ages of 102 and 104, these ladies have lived long enough to look back over a century of their existence and appreciate the value of a good family life and companionship, also to have the last laugh that in spite of all their struggles with racism, sexism, political and economic changes they triumphed (Having Our Say). Further, throughout the book, Sadie and Bessie continuously reminds the reader of the strong influence family life had on their entire lives.

Their father and mother were college educated and their father was the first black Episcopal priest and vice principal at St. Augustine College (Having Our, Say, Preface, p.xv). In observation, they firmly believed that their strength of character and tenacity of purpose had their roots in a family culture that nurtures "love and respect and all of those good things" in addition to a "religious faith that formed the backbone of the Delaney family."(Having Our Say, p.70). Basic habits such as clean bodies' clean thoughts, a love of music, and concerns for the less fortune, became a way of life in their family. Therefore, the Delaney's were not a wealthy family, they were still considered an elite black family due to their high values and standards (p.69). Because the life of black...