"You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – 
is something I have to find out myself.” 
Chinua Achebe (Nigerian novelist, poet and professor)

New Haven was excited about Having Our Say come to town and the Divas were a great part of these festivities! The Long Wharf Theater along with New Haven Free Public Libraries encouraged participation in a series of city-wide literary events correlating with the Delany's first 100 years: traveling re-enactments with local actors, a History Slam, Community Talks, story telling and discounted and free theater tickets. The city was a buzz with Having Our Say! The excitement was inclusive of The New Haven Stetson Free Public Library and Long Wharf Theater partnering with the Divas' Digest Book Club on Saturday,February 27, 2016 to partake in a spirited and revealing inter-generational  "Having Our Say" free and open to the public Community Talk complete with the trimmings. Divas'  members, President Sharon Brooks and Elizabeth Nearing, Long Wharf's Community Engagement Manager co-facilitated the afternoon's event. Diane Brown, Stetson's Director also assisted in the coordination of the afternoon's event and the repast-replicating the Delany's Papa's Birthday Celebration.

The Divas happily convene 6 pm bi-weekly on Wednesday's at The New Haven Stetson Free Public Library to discuss our designated monthly book selections. We started off 2016 with Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston's riveting novel:Their Eyes Were Watching God followed by February's selection of: Having Our Say written by Sarah and A.Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth which brought history to life!

Needless to say this year started off in fine literary fashion! I suspect Dr. Bessie and her sister "Sadie" Sarah Daley would have been initially curious,and subsequently very appreciative. I imagine they'd be equally talkative about their intriguing lives. Community Talk attendees celebrated and applauded Dr. Bessie and Sarah Delaney's 100 plus years of living through America's 20th century historic milestones. They and their families resilience, determination, coupled with their sheer power of their indomitable human spirits shed light on what many African Americans had to navigate through in the 1920's and beyond! 

The beauty is the Delany Sisters lived to tell what life was like during a hateful post civil war era, Jim Crow inception, the bleak Depression Era, women gaining Voter's Rights, an awakening Civil Rights Movement and beyond! As Bessie would say, "Honey I didn't take no tea for the fever!"  Meaning that the struggle for African American was fierce! But perseverance and having self determination were key! 

As the book club and attendees enthusiastically shared varying learned Delany accounts, I suspect listeners earnestly reflected and felt a tugging on their heart strings, bursts of joy regarding the fact that in their life spans, Bessie's 104 and Sadie's 109 years of living was quite purposeful and triumphant! I believe that surely like me, we realize that there are countless others which made it through! Our elders are proof. Readers now, all over the world have an opportunity to celebrate Having Our Say whether they read about it,visit their favorite theatrical production, chat with elders or catch a video, the truth is being shared! This was indeed a terrifically insightful afternoon!

Shared with a Transparent Heart,
Linda Mose Meadows,  Inspirational Author of the devotionals:
The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises (Tate Publishing)
Destined to Receive, Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Amazon.com)