Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Black women are and have always been the backbone of society. Crisis after crisis, experience after experience we are there for everyone, but often it seems that we are never extended the same grace. We deserve the safe space that we so willingly create for others.
Being a black woman in America is an experience that you cannot fully describe or understand if you do not have the lived experience. It's being judged for wearing your natural hair, it's being called angry when you simply state how you feel, it's being told you're overreacting when you're speaking your mind. Simply put, being a black woman can be exhausting. It's understanding that we are the blueprint, but constantly receiving backlash in the same breath.
So where can we go when we feel this constant strain from the world?
We can look to each other. Our friendships are more like family than anything.
As I reflect on my life, sisterhood got me through a big chunk of it, especially my college years.
But honestly, childhood is where it all began; and I carried many of those friendships into my adult years. As I matured it was easier to understand the importance of seeking out and maintaining these relationships. I attended PWIs my whole life so finding sisterhood was calming in the mix of chaos. It always felt that I had to work twice as hard to be succeed. Within sisterhood, I found like-minded people, filled with unwavering support. A safe place where I don't have to worry about code-switching, or being perceived as the "angry black woman." Where I could be as loud or as bright as I wanted to be. People that hold me accountable, and don't judge me. People that pour into me just as much as I pour into them.
Simply put, sisterhood has always been and continues to be what gets me through life. Whether it's academia, relationships, family situations, grief, or just everyday life I know that I have people who genuinely care about me.
Many people put a lot of work and emphasis on romantic relationships, but sisterhood is just as important.
I took some time to ask a few people what sisterhood means to them and the importance it plays in their life. One person responded by saying:
"sisterhood is a bond unbreakable. It's having accountability partners. Being able to lift each other up when one is down. It's about having a strong relationship, and it's about honesty, commitment, and enjoying each other's company. It's about discussing goals and achievements. Not being jealous of one another but being genuinely happy for each other. And when someone has had a bad breakup it's about being there. When one is in pain, The other one may be in pain as well or may feel what they're going through. Sisterhood is unconditional love no matter what.”
“We are at the intersectionality of feminism, racism, sexism, and much more. I don't really feel that I have a safe space within society. Sisterhood is where I go to for that support. It's where I know people will understand what I'm going through and not feel judged about it. Not having to put up with performative acts of allyship. It's knowing that these people genuinely care for me. I can call them up at any time to talk about hair, go get brunch, or social justice and feel heard and seen."
another person stated:
"When I moved to NY I was up there by myself. Creating a sisterhood for me was like creating a family away from home. I had people that I felt actually gave a f**k about me. We pushed each other to excel. If I had a big exam coming up I knew one of them would help me study. If I felt depressed I knew I could count on them to pull up at my apartment and help me get out of my funk. When I felt homesick, We had Sunday dinners which felt like genuine family time. I don't feel like I would have been as productive with moving up there if it wasn't for those bonds. As much as they show up for me I show up for them."
Life can be draining, the way we are perceived within society can be taxing both physically and mentally. We need people around us that make us feel safe. People that are multifaceted just like us to be our hypemen, accountability partner, support system. People that can lift us up when we are feeling down. Having these women around to have your back. To tell you that your not overreaching or tripping
Before watching season 5 of insecure I decided to rewatch seasons 1-4. Issa Molly, Kelly, and Tiffany's friendship showed us what sisterhood looks like. Molly and Issas' friendship was filled with ups and downs that so many women deal with. But their relationship showed us that true security comes from understanding. Friendships are going to go through changes and rough patches and there is nothing wrong with that. As we change as people, so do our relationships. The key is to allow them to evolve and grow. Issa and Molly demonstrated that the fight for sisterhood was just as important as their fight for romantic relationships. From season 1 to season 5 we saw how their relationship between each other has evolved and how it made them grow as individuals.
Sisterhood is a reminder of who we are and what we are capable of.
In 2022 I want us to take time to prioritize sisterhood. For those of you that may feel you don't have a tribe my goal for 2022 is to assist you in finding your tribe.
So here's to more friend dates, more exploring the world with our tribes, being there for each other and holding each other accountable, more extending grace, more black women being able to be SOFT. More of us being able to shine in our true authenticity.
✨Here's to sisterhood.