Fact, one of the most meaningful relationships that a woman will have will be with another woman. Get your mind out of the gutter, I am not talking about a sexual relationship. I am talking about a life changing relationship that will foster growth and play a major role in who that woman becomes. It could be her sister, her mother, her daughter, her close friend or even a stranger but at some point, she will encounter a woman that makes a huge difference in her life.
All of my life, I have been surrounded by strong black women. From the women who nurtured and raised me to the girls I evolved into womanhood with to the women whom I have encountered while building this platform. All of these women offered something that I needed to grow into the woman that I am today. Many of the lessons and experiences were not wrapped and packaged pretty but they were all presents which taught me to appreciate the presence of these women in my life.
Now, I know that society seems to think that it is damn near impossible for black women to form and maintain strong, meaningful relationships with one another but I know that is a lie. The truth is that black women are the only women in society that are accused of being too much of everything but in the same breath, not enough of anything. We are said to be too strong, too prideful, too emotional and have too much attitude (I could go on and on) which according to society spells disaster. However, from where I am standing, that makes from a pretty amazing woman who is oh so magical and oh of real.
As a black woman who is 2 days shy of being 40 years old, I am honored to say that I have successfully maintained many amazing friendships with other strong black women. I am able to boast 20 plus years of friendship with many of the women in my tribe. Like any relationship, our friendships have encountered bumps in the road but because of the love, respect and history, we have together, we find a way to keep it moving.
All of the things that society seems too think black women embody too much of are the same things that make us great. They are also the same things that make us capable of doing anything we put our minds to and that includes forming strong bonds with one another. Will we have questionable moments and throw a little shade here or there? Yes! However, we will also empower one another and celebrate each other. We will look at one another with pride because we understand that when one of us wins… WE ALL WIN!
Since it is #womancrushwednesday and you all know are hoard dope ass women, I want to share with you some of the women that are closet to me. These are all strong black women who stood with me as we evolved into womanhood. They are all strong, intelligent and yeah, they have a bit of attitude but they all taught me things that helped me grow into the beautiful flower you see today and because of that, I want to share them with you. Who knows, maybe these lessons with help you prove society wrong and be a better friend.
In the 20 years that I have been friends with Katrina, I learned to show up. During the course of our friendship, I have encountered many hardships and milestones. However, despite the situation, what she was dealing with or where she was… Katrina always showed up for me.
Showing up isn’t about just being physically present, it is about being emotionally present also. You may not be able to be physically present, offer financial assistance, offer the right words or even relate but being emotionally available is something that a good friend will always be.
My friendship with Nicole has taught me patience. While Nicole and I are similar in some ways, we are also very different. It took the patience of Job (not job like work, Job like in the bible) for us to learn to exist in the same space in which we shared the same friends. We saw the value in taking our time and using a little extra energy to get to know and understand one another. Over time we became sisters with an unbreakable bond.
In order to be a good friend, you have to being willing to exercise patience and respect that everyone is not in the same space as you. However, a true friend is worth a little time and energy.
Sharee and I have been connected since middle school, although it wasn’t until we became adults that we formed a true bond. Over the years, Sharee and I have bumped heads many times, we allowed small mounds to become tall mountains because of pride. Our relationship taught me how to share my space and respect the strength of another woman.
The strength of a woman is something that is unmatched. However, that strength can sometime produce attitudes and situations that prove to be problematic. You have to use that strength to channel other characteristics like respect and understanding in order to truly be a good friend.
Melissa and I shared our greatest milestone together as young college students; we became pregnant and first-time mothers at the same time (well exactly one week apart). We have raised our children together as family and we have been there for one another through trials and triumph. Melissa taught me what it truly means to be my sisters keeper and that a win for my sister is a win for me.
Lets be logical, we aren’t all going to reach milestones at the same time. You may be in a low place while your girl is on top of the world. However, a true friend is going to celebrate your success as if it were her own.
So yeah black women, stay woke and understand that society saying that we can’t maintain friendships with one another is not only a lie but another attempt to divide us.
I see you out here sprinkling all that black girl magic with your tribe, so tell me… What have you learned from the women in your tribe?
*Photos by P Dillon Photography