Having Our Say…..

Behind me in my study is a twelve-foot wall of bookshelves containing many of the books I have read over the years. In order to make room for new ones I regularly clean out all the “technology” books that no longer have any significance. Since I am now back in the Macintosh fold all of the Windows books have been removed. During this latest round of cleaning up I came across a book I have read several times and will now read again.

I don’t know if I have posted a recommended reading list here before but if I haven’t this is certainly a good place to start.  The book I pulled off the shelf to read once again is called:

Having Our Say – The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years

Here is the cover jacket. It is about two African-American women who were at the time of the book being published both over 100 years old. The book is written in the narrative style with the two sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany, telling stories about their lives which spanned the entire 20th century. Their father was a freed slave who would go on to become an Episcopal bishop. Both the sisters faced the first days of Jim Crow and legal Segregation head-on in their own ways. THe stories about that are truly entrancing.  If only all history books were this enjoyable history would be a favorite of many more people besides me.

Here are a couple of quotes from the back cover of the book.

“Bessie can be a little bit nasty sometimes, you know. She thinks it’s her God-given duty to tell people the truth. I say to her, ‘Bessie, don’t you realize people don’t want to hear the truth?'” – Sadie

“When people ask me how we’ve lived past one hundred, I say, ‘Honey, we never married. We never had husbands to worry us to death!'” – Bessie

The book is filled with stories about the two young black women growing up in South Carolina during the early 1900s and then moving to New York City to follow their careers. They both chose to remain unmarried and lived almost their entire lives together. Pick up this book if you want to learn something and have a few laughs. I am personally picking it up for the third or maybe fourth time. I can’t say that about many of the books that are on that wall.

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