Though this month's theme, Being a Better Keeper for your Sister may not correlate with November, this message has felt more urgent than ever. The relationship Black women have with each other, has always bothered me. However, it wasn't until I changed myself, that I was able to identify some ways in which we can become better keepers for our sister's, starting by eliminating elitism in sisterhood.
Before digging in though, I wanted to run through the different types of women that I will be referring to as your sister throughout the series:
Your sister in melanin represents all of the other Black women in the world. You don't know them, you may never meet them, but there is still the underlying common ground of melanin.
Your sister circle refers to your closest Black woman friends.
Your soul sisters are the your familial sisters. Your mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, cousins, aunties etc.
From my vantage point it is learned behavior of white supremacy, that find ways to further distinguish ourselves from the pack. For Black women specifically, consider natural versus relaxed, 9-5 jobs versus entrepreneurs, made Greek's versus paper Greek's, vegans versus everybody. We utilize this distinction as comparative comfort, as we fall asleep vindicated, knowing that we are doing better than at least one other person.
The root of the issue here, is the way in which we measure our goals, and where our goals derive. Understand that everyone's goals must be different because everyone's, gifts, purpose and path is different. Within understanding this, it is imperative for us to step off of our high horse and realize that no one path is higher or greater than another, because there is no scale or competition. Why would you even want to compete with someone from the same hue as you?
The only person we should be comparing ourselves to is our old self, this is where the true competition comes into play. Let's see if you can be a better you than you were last year, month hell week, 'cause nigga's change everyday B.
Once we take our lens from outward to inward, is when we'll be able to be a better keeper to our sisters in melanin. So often we look down on the "ghetto" like we all weren't a product of it. Like our fashion, lingo, music, food, humor, art and culture didn't come from somebody's projects. Tooting our noses up at little Black girls from the hood, as if they weren't our introduction to the #CareFreeBlackGirl and liberation.
To live in the hood is to live without fear, and as we know, fear is what the White man prays on in us as a means of control.
This should go without saying, but furthermore a degree does not make you educated. So let's stop going away to school and thinking that we are better than what we come from. On the other of end of that though, for those who say at home, please allow us the space for growth upon our return. We are coming home with new eyes, and will be culture shocked at what we're seeing.
In parallel paths, I look at wokeness as a space that you are constantly traveling to, without ever arriving at your destination. Meaning that you are continuing to grow that bout of knowledge you developed upon your initial state of consciousness. However, as a Black people we are not all there yet.
While I understand that it may be frustrating for some, we must turn our criticisms into teachable moments. Learn whether we need to call them out, or call them in. Instead of hitting someone with a "do your research," how about we share resources, because as it stands, the divide is doing more harm than good.
We first, must love ourselves, which is why last month's series focused on Your Best Self. When we get to a space of not only loving ourselves, but loving our Blackness, is when we will be in the proper space to take in our sister as her whole self. To love on her, celebrate her, gas her up, motivate her, but above all make yourself a safe space for her. One free of judgement, ridicule, and hatred.
We must eliminate this us versus them mentality among ourselves, because all they see is them, and all we have is us.