There are many stories shared each year in honor of black history month, in the schools, local libraries, in blogs and elsewhere. But to my knowledge I have never heard anyone mention these inspiring ladies.
This is a story of two sisters. Bessie and Sadie Delany. I first heard of them years ago when I read their book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, co-written by Amy Hill Hearth. The title gets your attention right away–“First 100 Years”. Wow! It’s amazing in itself that they both lived past the age of 100 (Sadie, 109 and Bessie, 104) and were in relatively good health up until they died, but there are much more impressive facts about these amazing ladies.
Both accomplished much, especially considering the time, their sex, and their race. You can read more about them online, but I suggest picking up the book I mentioned above. It tells their whole story, up to when the book was written and published, and it will inspire you. Just a couple facts: Sadie earned a master’s degree in education in 1925 and was the first African-American permitted to teach domestic science at the high school level in the NYC public school system. Bessie graduated in 1923 from Columbia University’s School of Dental and Oral Surgery and was the second black woman licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New York.
Neither woman ever married, and they lived together most all their lives, until Bessie passed away in 2005. They took care of themselves, did daily exercise, and ate garlic every day. Their story is inspiring, and they both had great attitudes and outlooks on life.
Another book I read from them was The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom, also a great read (I own both it and the aforementioned book). I’ll include links to where you can purchase them on Amazon, but your local library might have a copy.
More books were written, which you can read about in this Wikipedia article:
Links to the two books I mentioned and suggest: