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Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Having Our Say was very intriguing and eye opening. The Delany s

    Having Our Say was very intriguing and eye opening. The Delany sisters were strong black women who not only dealt with racism but also sexism. Sadie and Bessie were two inseparable sisters who grew up together and grew old together to the ages of 104 and 109. Sadie, the sweetheart of the two, had expressed the most important message in her words. “Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet” (173). The message is almost ironic considering their lives were much extended compared to the average person, especially under the circumstances that they obtained as black women. Living in the times that they did was very bitter and rough to manage through, yet Sweet Sadie and Bessie trudged right on through it with triumph. Another message was also found in context from Sadie and Bessie’s father. “Your mission is to help somebody. Your job is to help people” (115). To take the high road, to help somebody, anybody, even if they don’t deserve it, is the message here. Having Our Say is definitely worth reading and people should read it! I can see myself rereading this book in the future; it is such an eye opening reading that takes your breath away with every flip of a page. The way it is written are the Delany sister’s words and you can tell whether Sadie or Bessie is speaking because of their dialect. Also, it is very interesting to hear from a black women’s perspective of the change of society over their life span; the transition from slavery to independence as individual women. Some wonderful aspects of this reading were how they described their situations; as old as they were, it didn’t seem like they were telling the story as if it happened years ago, but just as if it was yesterday. Also, the book was sectioned out between what Sadie had to say and what Bessie had to say, and the book flowed nice and easy along with the progression with society. There were very few things that I disliked about this book. Overall, this book is wonderful, content, dialect, characterization, everything made it worth the time read and is definitely top notch.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    Great Book

    I had to read the book for class, but I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the history of the United States. I also learned a lot about how to live life to the fullest!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2007

    Fantastic!

    I laughed and cried my way through this book! By the end I was in love with these sisters. This book is wonderful. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    The Delany Sisters

    I really enjoyed reading this book it gave me more of an insight on what it was like growing up during civil war time and through out the civil rights movement. I would also like to add that reading this book has made the Delany sisters, Bessie and Sadie someone I admire simply because they didn't hold grudges and they constantly thanked God and made it through, Their just a great sisters and I admire that type of sibling bonding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    Worth 2-3 Reads

    I read this years ago. Then I read it again. (I rarely read any book twice.) I'm putting it on my nook wish list to read again. It so much fun and gives great lessons on creative perseverence. Yes, it deals with racism. Racism was. Racism is . . . Both toward African Americans, whites and other races. Do not let the racism issue cause you to miss a deligtful book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2011

    Straight forward, Sassy...Simply Delightful!

    Having Our Say was absolutely wonderful! These two vibrant women make your heart warm. Sarah Louise and Annie Elizabeth Delaney (more commonly known as Sadie and Bessie) lived to be 104 and 109, living through more than a century worth of world changing events. Having Our Say is their exact narration of the tremendous lives they lived.well at least the first 100 years of them. Bessie and Sadie switch off and join together in telling stories from their childhood through their adolescent years exactly how they saw and felt them happen. It definitely deserves a "LOL!" Even at the ripe age of 101 and 103, when the book was written, these two ladies with the spunk and sass they had would make anyone laugh! I learned that I've got to keep smiling through the good and the bad. Keeping a kick to you is definitely the key to longevity! The Delaney sisters were living proof of it. I must say, I am so thankful that Sadie and Bessie "had their say" and shared with the world the lives of the most conspicuous but most marvelous people we'll ever see. I highly recommend this book to anyone! Although I do think it would appeal to women more than the men, it is historical documentation through a personal perspective. The author did a remarkable job documenting and organizing the book, but Sadie and Bessie's colorful words and descriptions are what make Having Our Say come alive. Being an adolescent in a much different time and situation, it was hard to relate to the book at times, which made it lag, personally, in parts. That being said, Having Our Say gave me a new outlook on so many experiences and had messages applicable to anyone. Such as I have always said "African American" to be polite but they consider themselves brown or Negro not "African American." They are just as much American as we are! Things I can only read about and try to grasp the concept of, these sisters let me feel and actually imagine what it was like and felt like to be discriminated against as an African American. Most importantly, the Delaney sisters overcame the least of ideal circumstances and made the most of every day they lived. Becoming an impactful New York City high school teacher and successful dentist, in the hardest of times sends a message that any person of any age should follow. The circumstances I face are not what define me, but rather what I do with them is that which makes all the difference, even living to be over 100!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    anthony apelo's review on Having Our Say

    Having Our Say is a novel written by Amy Hearth with the help of Sadie and Bessie Delany. These two extraordinary women tell their story about how their family survived through segregation and racism in the South. Sadie and Bessie encountered racism early in their lives while the Jim Crow laws were in play. Throughout the South, it was required that blacks and whites were separated and had their own facilities. For example, the spring water at the park is divided with one side for blacks and one for whites, and the grocery store where they used to buy food will not serve them any more. Even with all the obstacles, all of the Delany children go to college to become teachers or other professions that deal with helping others. The two main characters of the novel would be Sadie and Bessie Delany. Sarah Louise Delany, also known as Sadie, was the second child who was born out of her other brothers and sisters. Sadie, who lived until the age of 103 years old, was a very respectful women who protested against discrimination in a quiet but determined fashion. Sadie became the first black women to teach domestic science at several public high schools in New York. The second main character was Annie Elizabeth Delany, also known as Bessie, was the third born baby after Sadie. Bessie, who lived at the age of 101 years old, was very different from Sadie because she was darker and had a more difficult time dealing with segregation. Bessie was very outspoken and was a strong supporter for civil rights and never gave in for what was right. She grew up to be a well known and respected dentist in New York City.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    A fun historical book

    The Book Having Our Say was a wonderful book to read. When I was reading it i learned more and more about the early 1900s and what kinds of things happened during that time period. Elizabeth and Sarah shared their wonderful stories from when they were kids about how they dealt with the Jim Crow laws and the discrimination againts blacks. As the two of the sisters grew older they also had to deal with the rights of Blacks and of Women. In Having Our Say, you can really see how they dealt with all these situations in their lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    The wonderful Delany sisters' story

    The Delany sisters' story is almost like the history of America in the nineteenth century. It is about the real history that they had to go through as African American. The Delanys had strong faith in God and were good American citizens, as they say. They were true to America. They loved America even though it didn't love them back. The Delanys had made good impressions about African American. We think that we lost most of the senses of racism, but we still do have. This is an appropriate book to read to have a second thought of racism. People who are racist don't realize that we all are same. We all love our country, we all want to be treated well, and we all like to do things that we want to do. We all are same but just with different coverings. If you want to know about these wonderful Delany sisters and what happened in the real history, I recommend you to read this book. It is not a very long book nor a boring text book type of book. Once you are in the book with the Delany sisters, you will be eager to read more and start to love them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    A great book

    Sadie and Bessie Delany have written a truly great book. The two elderly women's stories shed light on many topics from romance to loss, to many others. The stories also range from funny to sad, which offers variety to the book. Each of the sisters has their own style. Sadie is rather conservative while Bessie is upfront. The book is so much fun to read, and gives a great first-hand view of an entire century of American history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    This book is wonderful

    I love this book so much. This really taught me a lot. It makes you have a better apperication of things in life. Now I don't want to let any day pass by to fast because life is too short(not in the delany case) I want to have that love the sisters had. Thanks Amy for helping writing this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2001

    An amazing life story!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I read this in High School and fell in love with it. It takes you on a journey through years of experience and personal battles. An amazing book that I recommend everyone to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2000

    Good Book For All!!!

    The book having our say is one of the books i've ever read...I'm in the ninth grade and I think it's awsome!!

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    Posted February 24, 2010

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    Posted January 6, 2013

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    Posted December 25, 2008

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    Posted October 3, 2011

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