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Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999)

2:06 | Trailer
Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the ... See full summary »


Lynne Littman


Sarah L. Delany (book), A. Elizabeth Delany (book) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Diahann Carroll ... Sadie Delany
Ruby Dee ... Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' Delany
Amy Madigan ... Amy Hill Hearth
Lisa Arrindell ... Sadie in her 20s (as Lisa Arrindell Anderson)
Audra McDonald ... Bessie in her 20s
Mykelti Williamson ... Papa Delany
Lonette McKee ... Mama Delany
Richard Roundtree ... Booker T. Washington
Della Reese ... Martha Logan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ahmond Ahmond ... Henry Delany
Cameron Arnett ... Lemuel
Nate Bynum
Thomas Clark Thomas Clark ... Lucious
Sharlease Collier Sharlease Collier ... Church goer
Brandon Crawford ... Bag Boy


Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the daughters of the first African-American Episcopal bishop, who was born a slave, and a woman with an inter-racial background. With the support of each other and their family, they survived encounters with racism and sexism in their own different ways. Sadie quietly and sweetly broke barriers to become the first African-American home-ec teacher in New York City, while Bessie, with her own brand of outspokenness, became the second African-American dentist in New York City. At the ages of 103 and 101, they told their story to Amy Hill Hearth, a white New York Times reporter who published an article about them. The overwhelming response launched a bestselling book, a Broadway play, and this film. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

18 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Having Our Say See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Having Our Say" by Emily Mann opened at the Booth Theater in New York on April 6, 1995, ran for 317 performances and was nominated for the 1995 Tony Award for the Best Play. Emily Mann also wrote the teleplay for this filmed production. See more »


Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' Delany: Sadie, the family's trying to get us a phone again.
See more »

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User Reviews

A jewel of a film!!!!!
6 August 1999 | by vbmqSee all my reviews

This is one of the best films that I have ever seen!!!! I give it more than a ten!!!!!! This film was very factual and gave the world a big slice of African-American life!!! All the performers, producers(especially Camille O. Cosby, Jeffrey S. Grant and Judith James) and all the others involved, did a great job!!!!

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