Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
Important Quotations Explained
1. I was
torn between two issues—colored, and women’s rights. But it seemed
to me that no matter how much I had to put up with as a woman, the
bigger problem was being colored. People looked at me and the first
thing they saw was Negro, not woman.
were hard times, after slavery days. Much of the South was scarred
by the Civil War and there wasn’t much food or supplies among the
whites, let alone the Negroes. Most of the slaves, when they were
freed, wandered about the countryside like shell-shocked soldiers.
3. Jim Crow
made it an even bigger stigma to be colored, and any hope of equality
between the races came to a grinding halt. Papa used to say that
real equality would come as Negroes became more educated and owned
their own land. Negroes had to support each other, he used to say.
asked us if we remembered seeing the Statue of Liberty as we pulled
into the harbor. Tell you the truth, we didn’t care too much about
it. The Statue of Liberty was important to white European immigrants.
It was a symbol to them. We knew it wasn’t meant for us.
5. The whites
resented the Negroes taking over Harlem, but eventually all of them
had to serve Negroes—including at those white-owned restaurants—or
go out of business, because after a while there was nobody left
but Negroes. White folks had run out of Harlem like fleas from a
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