125th out of 137 books — 96 voters
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Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years
Paperback, Dramatists Play Service Inc. (adaptation for stage), 262 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Dramatists Play Service
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At the risk of belittling the power of Mann's adaptation of the Delany Sister's "Having Our Say," I have to say that the play smacks of a certain Forrest Gump sentimentality. I mean, come on - "They REALLY surprised their aging mother with a birthday visit from Eleanor Roosevelt?" However, I found myself quickly shelving this rash judgement when I considered: holy crap, these were REAL people that lived these incomparably eventful lives. When this is digested, the rest speaks for itself.
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I'm giving this low marks because I thought it would be so interesting - after all it's the biography of two black women who were the daughters of slaves and ended up as professionals in NYC. I was surprised that they didn't have that much to say. They just kept going on and on about how right they were about everything. Didn't they ever make any mistakes? I think their editor should have spruced this up a bit. It became monotonous.
The Delany sisters, Bessie and Sadie, were born in South Carolina about 1890. They write about their shared century of living. The sisters are honest, amusing and most of all insightful. They lead amazing lives and watched a lot of history being made. Fortunately they were willing to share their insights.