“On My Own at 107” is the story of Sarah “Sadie” Delany after the death of her sister Bessie. They were extraordinary women who graduated from college, and shattered the image most people had of African-American women. (Sadie actually referred to herself as “colored”, as she said her skin color was not black.)
If you have read the book “Having Our Say”, which the sisters wrote previously, you know that they were born to a father who began life as a slave in the south. He was determined that all of his children would be educated, and indeed all but one of his ten children completed college.
Sadie went to Columbia University, and got a master’s degree in education there. Then she went on to teach high school in New York City, the first black teacher of domestic science in the white schools. Her sister Bessie also graduated from Columbia University, and was the second black woman to be licensed as a dentist in the state of New York.
After the sisters retired, they lived out the rest of their lives together in their Mount Vernon home. Together they wrote the memoir “Having Our Say”, both of them being over 100 years old. People loved the book, and it sold over five copies.
After Bessie’s death in 1995 at the age of 107, Sadie was alone for the first time in her life. She continued to answer letters that people wrote her, asking for life advice. Then she wrote her own book at the age of 107! In it, she mostly reminisced about life with her sister, and reflected on how good God had been to her. “On My Own At 107” is a short book, but leaves you with the thought that each one of us is put on this earth for a purpose, and each life has meaning from the first breath to the very last breath.