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Word Count: 870
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 pxv 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 familyHaving Our Say p70 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 Delaneys were not a wealthy family they were still considered an elite black family due to their high values and standards p69 Because the life of black people outside the doors of there sheltered home and the gates of St Augustine were vastly different Sadie and Bessie witnessed and experienced the insults
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