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February 2024 | Issue 40

Celebrating the lives of

Bessie & Sadie Delany

These remarkable sisters forged an inspiring legacy as human rights pioneers. Bessie lived to be 104 and Sadie lived to be 109 years old! Bessie was a well-known dentist in Harlem with a doctorate from Columbia University and Sadie was the first woman of color ever to teach home economics in white New York City schools. The sisters lived together their whole lives, practiced yoga every day, and attributed their longevity in part to never having been married - Bessie said,

"We never had husbands

to worry us to death!"

The Delany sisters' humor, wisdom, and "vinegar / molasses" partnership is reflected in their books, a Broadway play adaptation, and numerous filmed interviews.

Click for a New York Times article about Sadie Delany upon her passing (1999)

Interview of the Delany Sisters (1993)
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Bessie Delaney turning 100 quote.jpeg
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