My Girlfriends….There Through Thick and Thin


I am a girl’s girl—through and through.  My relationships with the women in my life have been sources of inspiration, strength, and motivation.  I consider these relationships simply invaluable, from the loving counsel of my mother and grandmother to the laughs and tears shared among my girlfriends and Sorors.

The women in my life hold me up, listen to me bitch, moan, cry and complain.  At their best these friendships are an education, they challenge me and push me to the next level. Therefore, it saddens me when I hear Black women talk about how they are immediately distrustful or suspicious of other Black women.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the parody and misrepresentation of Black women and our relationships in popular culture has been internalized.  This creates an insecurity that extends to our relationships with each other in our everyday interactions.  It lessens our ability to love ourselves and our ability love the reflection of ourselves—our sisters (and brothers too). Mainstream society has taught Black women in many ways not value ourselves and this collective sense of inadequacy threatens one of the most valuable cosmic connections in the universe. If we think of friendships as living things, I would argue the relationships and friendships between Black women are created and bound by a unique DNA of shared experience.

As Black women, I believe our human experience throughout history has been and even today remains unique.  How we do and define womanhood is special and beautiful and we need to embrace the magic of it.  Our relationships need not be fraught with jealousy, pettiness, malicious competitiveness, and distrust.  When I see my sister, I see the God manifest within in her.  I see her capacity (but not necessity) to be strong, her Grandmother’s wisdom, her courage, and creativity.

I believe one of my purposes in life is to interpret and voice my experience,  and more importantly the collective experience of the Black women around me.   I see so many parallels in the lives of  my sister friends, from the well-worn narrative around the perils of singleness to the weight of negotiating identity in the workplace.   I rely on my girlfriends for advice, to help me frame an experience, heal through hurt, and to make me laugh until my belly aches.

Toni Morrison said, “The loneliest woman in the world is the woman without a close woman friend” and it is in this spirit that I encourage you to treat the women in your life with love and understanding.  Be a friend and to make a friend.  Love your sisters, encourage them, and treat them with the kindness, respect, and devotion we all deserve.

“Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me”
Toni Morrison
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