threads of our fabric

Reflections on navigating between two cultures and understanding the self-awareness process

Can we be sisters? November 25, 2011

For the past week I have watched Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” about 7 times. I enjoy the intricate artistic portrayals of diverse unique Black women’s lives. Each character has a powerfully delicate story with a mysterious depth that unveils and sometimes unravels as the movie progresses. I really should be singing praises to the eloquent prose of Ntozake Shange in her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”

Perhaps the reason I push play so frequently on the DVD player is because I can relate to certain situations or different character’s reactions to some incredible life experiences. Or maybe it is the soulful lyrical words of the different soliloquies. Or simplyjust  enamored by the expressive beautiful movement in choreography. However, above all I love the beautiful closure of the movie in the “laying on of hands”…It sealed the bonds of a newly formed sisterhood between the Black women. I remember soon after this movie was released, there was alot of discussion on how Black women need healthy positive relationships with each other.

This past week on our Facebook page African Girl Development in the U.S., the Threads of Our Fabric Project team started a discussion topic on Sisterhood…

The gift of sisterhood certainly makes life’s journey worthwhile! They say women are their own worst enemies; some call it “a woman’s issue”… backstabbing, competitiveness, envy, and jealousy…. What are your views on that?…”

 

The responses were fascinating! Some included:

  •  “I feel women that do try to one up each other also have insecurities within themselves that are manifesting as competition.  Where those insecurities arise? Probably, upbringing and social situations that they’ve experienced.”
  • The high pressure on women to present themselves or mold themselves into what is agreeable  in their culture or society. When these expectations go against who they truly are there is a tipping and oftentimes explosive point.
  • “The competition amongst women/ young ladies nowadays is usually channelled towards the wrong direction like who’ s won what, who’s boyfriend is cuter, or who owns what?”
  • Education is crucial  “because someone with a good education has better social, critical thinking and problem solving skills than someone who is not well educated. Education enhances thought processes and gears them toward more peaceful interactions with others and better choices in life.

Maybe it takes one person believing in the possibility of healthy, strong, and positive sister relationships for a connection to occur. Like Shange’s Tangie and Nyla, most of us sisters can begin healing our current relationships by just being there for one another. Simply making ourselves available and supportive, not threatened by the infinite beauty in the presence of another sister, but celebrating our unique strengths, talents, and possibilities. Instead of looking at what separates us, let us extend loving hands with a promise to cherish, applaud, and hold one another.

Photo credit: Trendy Africa

We enjoyed hearing the insightful voices on Facebook and you are invited to comment on the page or on this blog. Stay tuned for more thought provoking dialogue!
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