January 13th, January 15th, and January 16th are the national founding dates of three of the historically Black sororities in America. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was founded on January 15, 1908, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. was founded on January 16, 1920, all on the campus of Howard University. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. was founded on November 12, 1922 on the campus of Butler University. The key purpose of all four of these unique organizations is Sisterhood. In honor of “Sisterhood” month, I dedicate my first blog post to the idea of sisterhood and the importance of having other Black women as close friends and confidants.
I am the youngest child of three and the only girl. Growing up, I envied my girl friends who had sisters. They had someone to fight with, to share secrets with, to steal clothes from, and someone they can call best friend and genuinely mean it. They had a relationship I just could not get from having two older brothers who -let’s be honest- weren’t thinking about their annoying little sister. From middle school to high school, I gained one genuine Black girl as my best friend and the other girls I was hanging out with, were not ones who I should not have been friends with in the first place. But I was looking and searching for that void of not having a sister. I began trusting these girls with my secrets, not knowing that my secrets weren’t so private after they would go tell other people.
When I left my hometown of Peoria, Illinois and went to college, I met so many different women who were driven and had the willpower to begin doing amazing things. I wasn’t only interested in becoming a Zeta because of the awesomeness of the sorority, but because I was genuinely looking for that “sisterhood” I missed out on in my childhood and adolescence. After I became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., I felt as if this idea of a sister was finally coming true. Though I don’t talk to all of my sorority sisters from my chapter every day, I have this big sister instinct if they tell me something is wrong, I want to know what happened, if they need someone to talk to about it, I check on their mental health. It’s all genuine love.
Outside of my chapter, the are other Zetas from across the country who I consider sisters but two of my best friends aren’t Zetas and I feel as strongly about them as I do sorors…if not more. I have someone I deem as a sister who is in another sorority. See, for me, it is important to have other Black women in my corner. All of my friends are in different places in their lives. I learn from them, even when they think I’m not listening. I allow them to keep it real with me without worrying about protecting my feelings. They are able to call me out when I’m being unrealistic and love me hard even during the rough times. They cheer for me in the present and they cheer for me when I’m not around. I don’t have to spell out what being a Black woman means to them because they already know. These women are some of the reasons I want to do better because I believe that if I let them down, I’m letting myself down as well.
If you identify as a Black woman, I encourage you to find other Black women to keep in your SisterSistah Circle. You don’t need 50 women to choose from, either. Your circle can be whatever number you deem necessary for your life balance. I realized that I didn’t need a biological sister to gain sister-like relationships. Thank you, to those who are in my SisterSistah Circle…even if you didn’t know you were in it. 🙂
Here are three blog sites from three powerful Black women who are out here making moves for the culture. Binta Kane’s Internal Archives Blog. Her mission is to “empower millennials of color to embrace their cultural identities, promote self love, cultural awareness and personal development” Leilani Howell’s Let Lei Be Lei blog. Through photos and fashion, Leilani gives readers an opportunity to learn about the best places to travel, what to eat, things to do, and the do’s and don’ts of fashion, and Monica Mikal The What Now Company about figuring out what to do after college and prep work on getting a job!
“Count on me through thick and thin. A friendship that will never end. When you are weak, I will be strong. Helping you to carry on.” -Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans – ‘Count on Me’.