Madeleine Albright went viral for saying:
There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other.
Some people thought it was “harsh”.
Well, here’s my remix:
There’s a special place in hell for Black women who don’t support other Black women.
Hear me out…
Lately, as in within the past year or so, I’ve been contemplating my role in uplifting and strengthening the Black community. It is a part of my growth process. I’m constantly thinking about how I can be a positive influence in general, but more specifically to Black women. I find myself making conscious efforts to show love to my sistas when I see them doing well, to show empathy towards my sistas who are struggling, and to be an ear to listen to my sistas who have dreams the size of Mount Everest! I’m doing okay, but I can definitely be doing more.
Why Supporting Black Women is so Important To Me
Some of you are not going to like what I have to say, and that’s okay. We can always agree to disagree and move on. Here’s my observation: Black women simply do not support other Black women enough. You may personally support Black women, but generally speaking we do not do it enough. We are blossoming into a time where more and more Black women every day are realizing they are indeed, “MAGIC!” Armed with that new-found knowledge, they are going out into the world and DEMOLISHING their dreams! I mean damn! My newsfeed is full of beautiful Black women discovering their awesomeness! It’s really amazing to witness.
The problem is “fake love.” The lack of overall support from women of color towards other women of color is sometimes rooted in the following: envy, jealousy, insecurity, and competitivity. It’s that notion of wanting to see them succeed, but not more than you. This may not be the case on a grand scale, but I’ve spoken to plenty of women who have experienced this dynamic in one form or another, throughout their lifetime. Whether we want to believe this is true or not, we must face the fact that this narrative does ring true for a lot of women.
Personally, this hurts my feelings because I’ve never felt like I didn’t want to support another Black woman for the reasons I’ve mentioned above. When you win, I win. I’m not saying I’ve never been envious, or jealous, or insecure, or competitive. We’ve all experienced these emotions before, but I can honestly say that none of these emotions have ever stopped me from wanting to support one of my sistas. It is so important to me to encourage, inspire, motivate, and support women who look like me because I am them and they are me. When we come together, amazing things happen. This is NOT an opinion, this is a FACT.
When You Win, I Win
When Black women inbox me and tell me I inspire them, and they are so happy that I’m doing well, I get so emotional. It’s just like Marianne Williamson said:
…When we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. When we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.
I see it all the time; women who are inspired to do something simply because they saw another woman who was brave enough to take a chance on her dreams. This is what happens. Influence is REAL. Why do you think companies spend BILLIONS of dollars on major “infuencers” to promote their product? It’s because they know it works. So, by going out and being the best version of you possible, and uplifting and supporting other Black women along the way, we begin to create a sphere of influence for the next generation and the generation after that. Remember, there was a time when Black women weren’t allowed to be GREAT! Man oh man, are we in a different time now! Today, we are not only allowed, but we have an obligation to be the best we can be, but that obligation doesn’t stop there. We also have an obligation to encourage other Black women to be great too.
Stop worrying about “competing”. The only person you should be competing against is yourself. Stop hoarding information that could help a fellow sista out. Stop worrying about how much better her life is than yours. Instead, allow her awesomeness to catapult your dreams into action. I assure you, this is a much better use of your energy. If I encounter a woman in my field killing it, I’ll say “Girl you ARE DOING IT! I need to step up my game so we can WIN TOGETHER!”
What I Mean By “Support”
By support, I don’t mean go out and spend money on a product or service you don’t need or want just for the sake of supporting a fellow sista. I mean showing your support when it’s relevant and appropriate to do so. I also don’t mean boycott all non-black owned businesses or people. That’s absurd. Listen, sometimes supporting Black women just means giving credit where credit is due, prioritizing your purchasing power, sharing in the joy of their wins, milestones, and growth, and telling that woman she is amazing if you genuinely feel she’s amazing. It could be as simple as providing constructive criticism, sharing wisdom, and being an ear to listen to her struggles. Support comes in many forms.
I’m making a conscious effort to show my support. I’m not in the business of judging others who don’t feel as passionately about this as I do, but this is “Girl Code” y’all! Cara Alwill Leyba, author of Girl Code, made me realize that there is enough room for all of us to shine. Simple as that! We’ve been supportive of other races for a long time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We should continue in our support for them, but now that our sistas are unveiling their magic, it’s time for us to start PRIORITIZING our support for them.
Here are 10 (out of so many) Black women who’ve been inspiring me lately:
- Tabitha Sparks
- Oneika Raymond
- Jasmine Hunt
- Monica Johnson
- Gloria Atanmo
- Gherdai Hassell
- Colby Holiday
- Amanda-Sophia Porter
- Brianna Hollenquest
- Christine Charles
There are so many more Black women I love and I will continue to show my love and support for these women.
What have you done lately to support a fellow sista?