Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years

Rated 4.0

Dear Delaney Sisters: Thank you so much for inviting us into your home and insisting we stay for dinner. The time we spent with you, listening to the stories of your family, your remarkable lives and the history of your era, along with witnessing the incredible, intertwined relationship you have with each other, was quite memorable and thoroughly enjoyable. Miss Sadie, it’s hard to believe you are 103 years old, and Sister Bessie, that you are 101 years old.

Dear Celebration Arts:

Thank you for choosing to showcase Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, and for selecting the talented and impressive acting team of Linda Barton White and Linda S. Goodrich to portray these sweet and sassy sisters. If you hadn’t dimmed the lights after the performance, we would have just wanted to stay forever basking in the personalities and transformational tale of the remarkable Delany sisters.

The stage version of Having Our Say is the true oral history of two African-American sisters who were interviewed by a journalist when they were in their second century. Their lifetime started with a father who was a slave and went on to become a college administrator. Their own lives in Harlem were lived as educated, groundbreaking professional women (a teacher and a dentist), and all along they witnessed the amazing, sometimes heartbreaking historic and cultural transformation of African-Americans. The book became a best seller, followed by numerous interviews before the sisters died a few years later.

Celebration Arts presents their story in a fashion that truly resonates with the audience, thanks to the impressive, cohesive acting team of White and Goodrich. At a recent performance of Having Our Say, an elder man smiled when he recognized an old familiar hymn playing during a scene change. He shut his eyes and began to quietly sing along for two entire verses, transported to an earlier time—into the era of the remarkable Delany sisters.