A sister is a female with whom you share the same biological or adopted mother or father. However, in the black community, the term “sista” refers to black women who are not related by blood, but by bond and race. The term is used to communicate race esteem. For the record, I consider all women my sisters, but I have some things I need to say to my “sistas”.
I want so badly to continue our “sistahood”, but I feel I cannot live up to your expectations. You want to be admired and respected, but it is hard for you to do the same for me. Why is it so hard for you to tell me that I am beautiful? Each time I hear a voice saying “You are gorgeous, you look like a model, I love your hair”, that voice is not yours. It’s a woman of another race, it’s a sister from another mother, who compliments me.
Most of the “sistas” I meet have more questions than compliments. I am greeted with ,”Is that your hair?” “Where did you buy that shoe? “ “How did you meet your husband?” (Popular one). Most of your questions do not communicate admiration. From you, I get rivalry and scrutiny. How am I supposed to trust you and remain loyal to this “sistahood”?
When I look back on my journey, the people who hurt me the most are “sistas”. You told lies on me, exposed my truth that was only meant for you. You resent my accomplishments and plot my demise. When I walk into a room, you judge me with your eyes. From you, I get looks of ridicule and envy. You said that black is beautiful, yet you feel resentment when another black woman looks beautiful. Why don’t you want me to stand out? When I win, you win.
Why did you lie to me? You told me that my lips were too thick, my “butt” was too big and my hips were too wide. Now these features are highly demanded cosmetic procedures. I did not appreciate all this melanin until I later realized that it made my skin wrinkle resistant and very hard to crack. You made me think that it was better to be born light skin , with straight hair and I actually believed you. I now know that every shade is beautiful and every hair texture is “good”.
We all need a seat at the table!
Why do you want to be the only one of us at the table? Do you enjoy the term “the first black female to”? The more I hear that term, it reminds me that we have a long way to go. Let’s talk about what we must do to lift each other up so more of us can have a seat at the table. Don’t blame the other sisters. They are the ones who tell me I am beautiful.
Based on my observation over the years, I am trying to figure out what makes us “sistas”. Is it the melanin? Is it our coily, curly hair? You are forever reminding me that your hair type is better than mine. Is it that you like when we are struggling together, but when one of us make it to the top, the “melanin magic” is gone? Is the “sistahood” based on struggle? For me it’s based on excellence.
Why do you only call me when you need something? Aren’t we “sistas”? You are forever telling me to,,”Help ah sista out.” You tell everyone I am your “sista” when I achieve my dreams, but you were the first person to tell me I could not do it when I shared my dream with you. So what is this “sistahood” about? What’s in it for me? Stop taking from me what you are not willing to give to me.
How do you expect me to trust that you love me, when you do not even love yourself? We can only achieve great things together when we want the same things for each other. There can be more “sistas” like Michelle Obama,Oprah, Beyoncé, Serena and Venus Williams, Megan Markle, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Shonda Rhymes, Ava Duvernay and others, but the “sista” code of ethics must change. We must first start by being genuinely happy to see a “sista” rise and we must also do everything in our power to keep her there.
With love from one “sista” to another.