Vocabulary Building | The Delany Sisters

Introduction

Learn the words: preeminent, feisty, militant, serene, confound and 5 more words in the context of our topic, The Delany Sisters, in a new Vocabulary Building episode from English Plus Podcast.


Audio Podcast


The Delany Sisters

The oldest living members of a preeminent African American family are also the oldest living authors in this country. Annie Elizabeth (Bessie) and Sarah (Sadie) Delany were 102 and 104 when they wrote Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First Hundred Years. The annals of their life together comprise a best-selling book that offers remarkable insight into what it means to live for over a century.

Bessie and Sadie are the daughters of a man born into slavery and a woman of mixed racial parentage who was born free. Two of ten children, they lived on the campus of St. Augustine’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina, where their father was principal and the first elected African American bishop of the Episcopal Church. Coming from a large, racially mixed family, the Delany children thought little about color. So they were confounded by the racial prejudices they encountered as they ventured into the outside world. During the era of Jim Crow, when segregation was enforced by legal sanctions, it was a shock to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled “colored.”

After graduating from St. Augustine’s, Bessie and Sadie worked as teachers to earn money for college tuition. By 1916 they had moved to New York, where Sadie enrolled at Pratt Institute and Bessie was accepted into Columbia University’s School of Dentistry. At a time when few Americans, black or white, ever went beyond high school, Sadie transferred to Columbia and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Bessie became the second black woman licensed to practice dentistry in New York City.

Each sister developed her own way of coping with the racism she encountered. Bessie, feisty and outspoken, believed in confrontation at any cost. As a female black dentist, she was on the front lines of double battles for equal rights. At first she refused to join her friends at sit-ins at the lunch counters of white restaurants in Harlem; however, after being threatened by the Ku Klux Klan on Long Island, she became more militant. Sadie, more serene and easygoing than her sister, learned to navigate through the system. When a principal of a white school refused to hire her because he thought her southern accent would be damaging to the children, Sadie went to a speech coach. Eventually she became the first African American in New York to teach domestic science on the high school level. Still hale and fiercely independent, the Delany sisters handle their own finances, prepare their meals, and look after the home that they have always shared. They attribute their longevity to a routine of morning yoga, a concoction of chopped garlic and cod liver oil, and a diet dominated by vegetables and boiled tap water.


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Which word could best replace 'preeminent' in "The oldest living members of a preeminent African American family are also the oldest living authors in this country."?

The word 'annals' in "The annals of their life together comprise a best-selling book that offers remarkable insight into what it means to live for over a century." could best be explained as ______.

Which word could best replace 'confounded' in "So they were confounded by the racial prejudices they encountered as they ventured into the outside world."?

The word 'sanctions' in "During the era of Jim Crow, when segregation was enforced by legal sanctions, it was a shock to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled 'colored.'" could best be explained as ______.

Which word could best replace 'relegated' in "During the era of Jim Crow, when segregation was enforced by legal sanctions, it was a shock to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled "colored.""?

Which word could best replace 'feisty' in "Bessie, feisty and outspoken, believed in confrontation at any cost."?

A 'militant' person could best be described as someone who ______.

Which word could best replace 'serene' in "Sadie, more serene and easygoing than her sister, learned to navigate through the system."?

Which word could best replace 'hale' in "Still hale and fiercely independent, the Delany sisters handle their own finances, prepare their meals, and look after the home that they have always shared."?

Longevity could be best described as ______.


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Episode Transcript

0:03
This is your host Danny Welcome to a new English plus episode. This episode is all about vocabulary building. And as we usually do, we will learn 10 new words every time in context. And our context or story for today is the Delaney sisters. You can practice what you learn in this episode on my website, there’s a link in the description that will take you to the custom post I created for this episode, you will find a lot to learn on my website English plus podcast.com. And better yet, if you are a premium subscriber on Patreon for only $5 a month, you will get exclusive Episodes Series and resources to take your English and learning to the next level. There’s a lot you can get if you subscribe, check the link in the description and go see all the benefits you get when you become a premium subscriber on Patreon. And now let me tell you about the 10 words we’re going to learn in today’s episode. We’re going to learn the words pre eminent animal confound, sanction, relegate feisty, militant, serene hail, and longevity. So these are the 10 words are you excited yet and don’t forget the story is about the Delaney sisters. So trust me it is something you would want to learn about. And now without further ado, let’s start talking about the Delaney sisters and later we will talk about these words in context.

1:34
The Delaney sisters, the oldest living members of a pre eminent African American family are also the oldest living authors in this country. Annie Elizabeth or Bessie and Sarah Sadie, the Laney were 102 and 104. When they wrote Having Our Say that the Laney sisters first 100 years, the animals have their life together comprise a best selling book that offers remarkable insight into what it means to live for over a century. Bessie and Sadie are the daughters of a man born into slavery and a woman of mixed racial parentage, who was born free to have 10 children. They lived on the campus of St. Augustine school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where their father was principal and the first elected African American Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Coming from a large racially mixed family, the Delaney children thought little about color, so they were confounded by the racial prejudices they encountered as they ventured into the outside world. During the era of Jim Crow. When segregation was enforced by legal sanctions, it was a shock to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled colored after graduating from St. Augustine’s Bessie and Sadie worked as teachers to earn money for college tuition. By 1916. They had moved to New York where Satie, enrolled at Pratt Institute, and Bessie was accepted into Columbia University School of Dentistry. At a time when fewer Americans black or white even went beyond high school, Sadie transferred to Columbia and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Bessie became the second black woman licensed to practice dentistry in New York City. Each sister developed her own way of coping with the racism she encountered. Bessie, feisty and outspoken believed in confrontation at any cost. As a female black dentist, she was on the frontlines of the double battles for equal rights. At first, she refused to join her friends at sit ins at the lunch counters of white restaurants in Harlem. However, after being threatened by the Ku Klux Klan on Long Island, she became more militant Sadie more serene and easygoing than her sister learn to navigate through the system, when a principal of a white school refused to hire her because he thought her southern accent would be damaging to the children, Sadie went to a speech coach. Eventually, she became the first African American in New York to teach domestic science on the high school level. Still hail and fiercely independent, the Delaney sisters handle their own finances, prepare their meals and look after the home that they have always shared. They attribute their longevity to a routine of morning yoga, a concoction of chopped garlic and cod liver oil and a diet dominated by vegetables and boiled tap water. So that was the story of the Delaney sisters. I hope you learned something you didn’t know about before. Especially About the Delaney sisters, these remarkable two women and now of course, we will move to the vocabulary building part and we will talk about 10 Words in Context. Remember again, the words are preeminent animal, confound, sanction relegate feisty, militant, serene hail and longevity. Now before we talk about these words, I’m going to introduce you to my vocabulary building book series. So bear with me and listen to it first, and then we will move on to talk about the 10 words in context. So don’t go away.

5:39
Do you want to build your vocabulary in 2022? If you really want to take your vocabulary to the next level and make 2022 the year when you build a huge active vocabulary bank, can you imagine being able to speak a lot better and to express yourself a lot better with the huge vocabulary bank you will have, I can help you with that I have just a thing for you. I have created two vocabulary building book series. So far. The first book series is crossword puzzle vocabulary building and the second is word search games and activities. With carefully designed activities that will make sure you remember the new words you learn in context with 10 books in each series. And with more than 1000 new words in each book, your active English vocabulary will get much better this year. The books are available on Amazon, you can find the links in the description. But if you want to see a sample of the books first, there is another link where you can see for yourself and make sure that this is the book or these are the books you need for your learning journey. And then you can decide to buy them on Amazon if you like build your English vocabulary in 2022 and never be lost for words anymore with English plus vocabulary building book series.

6:59
So it is time to talk about the words and let’s start with our very first word pre eminent and that is spelled p r e m i n e n t preeminent. Now, how do we use that in context, we said the oldest living members of a pre eminent African American family are also the oldest living authors in this country. Now, when we talk about pre eminent what does that mean? Does that mean something good or bad. But obviously, it’s a very good thing. It’s a distinguished, dominant, outstanding. If someone or something is pre eminent in a group, they are more important, powerful, or capable than other people or things in the group. And that was obviously the case for Bessie and Sadie. Now for our next word animal, a n n a l? How did we use that in context, we said the animals have their life together comprise a best selling book that offers remarkable insight into what it means to live for over a century. What does that mean? Now when we talk about the recorded events of one year, we can say that is an animal, it’s like yearly. Okay, so here, the animals we’re talking about their yearly recorded events. It’s just like account or diary, but it’s not exactly diary, because it’s not daily. Its annual, so we’re talking about a yearly thing, but more or less, it’s synonymous to chronicle or journal or account. Alright, so that is our word Anil. What about the next word confound conf o, u and d. Confound. How did we use that word in context, we said that they were brought up in an interracial family. So color was not a problem for them in the family, because they didn’t see it as a problem, or they didn’t see themselves different. But when they went out to the outside world, they work confounded by the racial prejudices they encountered as they ventured into the outside world. When you are confounded. What does that mean? If someone or something confounds you, they make you feel surprised or confused, often by showing you that your opinions or expectations of them were wrong. And that was exactly the case for Bessie and Sadie because they didn’t think of racism when they were with their families when they were growing up in their families. But when they went to the outside world, they started to see those things they didn’t understand at first, they weren’t confounded remember, this is the word and of course, they dealt with it in different ways as we talked in the story, but our word here is confound now. The next word sanction S A N C T IO n. How did we use that in context, we said during the era of Jim Crow, when segregation was enforced by legal sanctions, it was a shock to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled colored. Now here when we talk about sanction in this country context, it means a severe course of action, which is intended to make people obey instructions, customs or laws. And when we talk about sanctions, we don’t usually refer to it as a positive word. It’s usually a negative word, although sometimes we use it against bad people or bad countries. But that is something that is so controversial. We can never tell if sanctions are good or bad, but this is what it means. And obviously, in our context, it was bad, definitely bad. But the sanction as a word is not only for that time, it is used nowadays, and you’ve all heard about sanctions on different countries and stuff like that. But it is for you to tell whether this is just or not. But our word sanction, as we said, is a severe course of action which is intended to make people obey instructions, customs or laws. So that was our word. And within the same context of the same sentence I just told you about, there’s the word relegate when we said to be relegated to the back of the trolley and to drinking fountains labeled color. So this word, relegate R E. L. E. Gat E, relegate was that mean, if you relegate someone or something to a less important position, you give them that position, actually, that’s the opposite of promoting someone. When you promote someone, you bring them up to a better position, but here is just the opposite. You bring them down to a worse position, you demote them, you degrade them, downgrade the class, something like that. Alright, so that is the word relegate. And now we continued on and talk about their characters, we said Bessie, feisty and outspoken believed in confrontation at any cost. Now, the word here is feisty. F EISTY. What does that mean, when you describe someone as feisty? What does it mean?

11:51
Well, if you describe someone as feisty, you mean that they are tough, independent and spirited, often when you would not expect them to be, for example, because they are old or sick, but they are feisty, they’re full of energy, spirited, fiery, active, bold, that is the meaning of feisty, and that was exactly how Bessie was like, and Bessie being feisty and all even after she was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan on Long Island, she became more militant. That’s our next word militant. M I L, i t a n t. Now we use Milton to describe people who believe in something very strongly and are active in trying to bring about political or social change, often in extreme ways that other people find unacceptable. Now, I’m not saying that what Bessie did was unacceptable, not at all. But that’s the meaning of the word. They’re aggressive, they’re warring, they’re fighting, they’re active, and sometimes it might be necessary. But that is, again, for you to judge. We’re not here to talk about politics or anything else. We’re here to talk about the words and our word here was militant. So that was Bessie. But Sadie was different. She was just the opposite. serine is the word we use to talk about Sadie S E R. e n e, we said Sadie, more serene and easygoing than her sister learn to navigate through the system. Now, when we talk about a serene person, definitely not feisty, not militant. We’re talking about someone who is calm and quiet, peaceful, tranquil, composed, calm, serene. That is our word. Okay, so that was Sadie and and we talked about Sadie when she went to an accent coach to change her southern accent, instead of taking what this principal told her as an insult. Well, it was an insult, to be honest, but we’re just talking about a different way to confront a problem. Now for Bessie, she would have definitely confronted this problem in a different way. But Sadie because she was serene, she learned to navigate through the system. Well, you know, some of you might be like CD, you just try to navigate through the system and sometimes even outsmart the system, who knows, but some people can take it and they are just as militant and feisty as Bessie was. So that was the word serene. We still have two words to go that is Hale H, a, l, e, and longevity. Let’s start with hail. How do we use that we said still hail and fiercely independent. The Delaney sisters handle their own finances, prepare their meals and look after the home that they have always shared. So when we talk about Hale H A L II, what does that mean? If you describe people, especially people who are old as hell, you mean that they are healthy, strong. And now for our last word, longevity, l o, n g VITY. Longevity. How did we use that word in context, we said they attribute their longevity to a routine of morning yoga, a concoction of chopped garlic and cod liver oil and a diet dominated by vegetables and boiled tap water. Well, what do we mean by longevity? It’s very simple longevity is simply long life. And with that word we come to the end of our episode. Remember we talked about 10 Words in Context and of course the story of the Delaney Sisters, we talked about the word preeminent Anil confound, sanction relegate feisty, militant serene hail and longevity. I hope you found the story interesting and the words useful and you can add these words to your active vocabulary bank. And with that being said, we come to the end of today’s episode. Thank you very much for listening to this episode. I hope you learned something new. And don’t forget you can practice what you learned on my website. There’s a custom post I created for this episode. The link is in the show notes. Take the link go to my website English plus podcast.com and take your English with it and your knowledge to the next level you will find a lot of learning opportunities there not only vocabulary building, you just head there and you will see that I have redesigned English plus podcast.com to be a lifelong learning website. And now with the new podcast network that we have, you just go there and explore it at your own pace and you will find everything you need and more. With that being said this is your host Danny I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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