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DC Summer Reading Campaign Chooses Book About TC Alumna

In March, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Mary Raphael, the city's library chief chose the title that they hope will be on everyone's reading list. The book, Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years, the best-selling 1993 oral history of the two sisters.

The book is part of a citywide reading campaign called "D.C. We Read 2002," which came from community book groups that have gotten attention in other cities.

Having Our Say describes the lives of Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany, African-American sisters who look back on the past 100 years from their birthplace in Raleigh, N.C., to New York City.

Sarah, known as Sadie, got her Bachelor of Science from Teachers College in 1920. She was the first black woman to teach home economics in a New York City high school. A. Elizabeth, called Bessie, graduated from Columbia University in 1923 and became the second black woman to practice dentistry in New York State.

The memoir was chosen from 100 titles suggested by library staff members and the public for the qualities of universal themes of perseverance, easy reading for young adults and wide availability.

Organized by the D.C. Public Library, the goal of the project is to get people to discuss the book to get them interested in reading, encourage literacy and create a sense of community.

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