Study Guide

Having Our Say Part I, Chapter 1: Sadie

By Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth

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Part I, Chapter 1: Sadie

  • Sadie and Bessie "have been together since time began" (1.1.1). She's not messing around—Sadie is 101 years old and Bessie is 103.
  • Neither of them ever married, so they've lived together for their entire lives. Before retirement, Sadie was a high school teacher and Bessie was a dentist, leaving them just enough savings to get by.
  • Although they've "lived in New York for the last seventy-five years," they grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina (1.1.7).
  • Their parents met at St. Augustine's School in Raleigh and were married in 1886. They would go on to have ten kids, including Sadie and Bessie. Talk about keeping busy!
  • Although their father was born a slave, he would go on to become the "first elected N**** bishop of the Episcopal Church, U.S.A." (1.1.9)
  • Their mother, Nanny Logan, was a free woman during the age of slavery. Although she could have pretended to be white if she had wanted to, she refused to sell out her race.
  • Sadie is the second-oldest Delany child, born in 1889. Bessie (born Annie Elizabeth) was born two years later.
  • While Sadie is a "calm and agreeable" "'mama's child,'" Bessie is "outspoken" and "quick to anger" (1.1.17). Sounds like a good time to us!

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