Delany, Sadie

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Portrait of Sadie Delany (click to view image source)
Sadie Delany
(to view image author and license, click here)
Delany, Sadie Gender: F
Sarah Louise Delany
born on 19 September 1889 at 19:30 (= 7:30 PM )
Place Lynch Station, Virginia, 37n09, 79w18
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 27°13' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 27°52 Asc.s_aricol.18.gif 27°22'


American educator, the first black teacher in New York, teaching Domestic Science at the high school level. The second child in the family, she was a pretty girl, known as "sweet Sadie," more adept at manipulating the system with quiet determination than hitting it head-on.

Her mom was from a mixed race background and light skinned; her dad was dark skinned of black, white and American Indian heritage; the kids were all shades. Every night, all the kids were bathed and Papa read to them from the Bible. All family conflicts were settled before they were tucked in, the girls all in one room and the boys in another. Money was tight, their clothes came from a mission store and they all had chores. All the kids worked and went through college; the family was known and respected as one of America's outstanding black families.

Sadie saw and recognized racial prejudice realistically but without bitterness. When she went to college at St. Augustine's, a black college, she lived on campus and was always chaperoned. She applied in writing for her first teaching job the Fall of 1920 and did not show up for her first interview until after she had been hired, for $1,500 a year. When the school board found that she was a young black girl, they could not fire her so she became established, teaching in Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Sadie and her sister Bessie bought a house together in Mount Vernon, NY and lived together most of their lives. Neither married, and they wrote their autobiography together when Sadie was 103 and Bessie 101. The book was on the best-seller list for 28 weeks and was made into a Broadway play in 1995. Their second book came out November 1994, "The Delany Sisters' Book of Everyday Wisdom," offering insights on everything from family to money to food.

Bessie died peacefully in her sleep 9/25/1995, leaving a lonely Sadie who missed her sister dreadfully. She followed her at age 109, dying on 1/25/1999.

The story of the Delany sisters was made into a TV movie starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Work : New Career September 1920 (First teaching job)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1993 (First book published)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 25 January 1999 in Mount Vernon (Westchester County) (Age 109)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Autobiography "Having Our Say, The Delany sisters' First 100 Years" (written with Amy Hill Hearth, Kodansha International, 1993)


  • Traits : Body : Race (Black, mixed race)
  • Traits : Personality : Principled strongly (Dignity, humor and values)
  • Family : Childhood : Family close (Extremely supportive family, well educated for time period)
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (Second of ten kids)
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted (Dad a Bishop)
  • Family : Childhood : Family supportive
  • Family : Childhood : Sibling circumstances (Close to siser for lifetime, lived together)
  • Family : Relationship : Married late/never (Never)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Domestic Science)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (Having Our Say)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (First black female teacher in New York)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women