8.24.2018

Sisterhood.

I am my sister's keeper. 


“black women breathe flowers, too.
just because, 
we are taught to grow them in the lining of our quiet (our grandmothers secret)
does not mean,
we do not swelter with wild tenderness.
we soft swim.
we petal.
we scent limbs and love.
we just have been too long a garden for sharp and deadly teeth.
so we 
have
grown
ourselves into
greenhouses."
'Greenhouses' by Nayyirah Waheed
Sisterhood. The womanist movement. Blackness. It is all interwoven for me, tiny invisible threads draw me to the long-limbed dark-skinned black woman opposite me on the tube, we glance at each other, catch each other’s inquisitive brown eyes and we both smile a knowing smile. She compliments my braids, a faint African accent laced with French colonialism rolls off of her tongue and into my lap, I thank her and tell her I love her colourful outfit, splashes of warm oranges, ripe banana yellows and Moroccan ochres covering her body contrasting against her dark skin, reminding me of my darling Sherida. Sisterhood. In. Passing.
I am a fierce proponent of sisterhood, at all costs will I uphold my sisters. It wasn’t always like that though, like most women I had been fed that well-worn lie that all other women were my competition, they were out to get me, to trip me out, to take, to steal. They were ‘bitches’, and I wanted to be the ‘cool girl ™’ that hung out with the fellas. I lost many a good woman-friend back in my teenage years because of this problematic behavior, and I can say I wholeheartedly deserved it, I was a toxic angry mess of a kid, ready to fight and find fault with any other girl because I was insecure and hadn't yet mastered the fine art being in control of the ghosts that trailed after me.
At around age nineteen, I realized that other women were not a threat, they were not people to put my fences up around, they were my sisters and they would be the catalyst to an exponential amount of growth in my life. All my life, beautiful, strong, funny, kind and caring black women have been consistently behind me, through the tears, pain, successes. Women like Emmy, who is the first person to book a flight to the other side of the world whenever I’m celebrating anything, the first person to call me out when I’m chatting shit and misbehaving, the one who will call me at 6am to tell me she loves me and she’s proud of me. Yossy, who is the cutest little nugget, always waiting for me with arms outstretched for a cuddle even though I hate admitting I love them (I’m hard init), her naturally sweet and caring nature remains untouched since she was my little, little sister tugging at my jumpers, her hair into two curly Micky mouse puffs, her chubby cheeks covered in yoghurt. Nellie, who was one of my first internet friends way back from my Tumblr days, warm Nellie who was the first person to bring me to the church I now call home. Kelechi who is tireless in her voicing her opinions on racism, womanism, and privilege all served with scathing humor and a barrel of laughs. Rianna who curated a safe space for black womxn around the world to discuss issues, ask for advice and post opportunities. Stephanie who forced me to see my own privileges within the black community as someone who is lighter skinned and thinner framed, her words have been illuminating, dark and partly humorous, painting a vivid picture of what life is like as a dark-skinned plus sized woman and the hardships that come with it. Sherida who was the first ever blogger I met up with years and years ago, sharing coffees over the hubbub of London, laughing and crying about our love lives and now, whispering stern encouragement and cracking up over the problematic things we’ve encountered in the week over a three hour FaceTime call. Nomali, Esmé, Misteeko and Demmie who have been constant in their cheerleading for me and my blog, forever retweeting, commenting, interacting and sending me memes, their love across the Internet has not gone unnoticed. Jen, who was the first blogger to take me under their wings, sneaking me into fashion week parties and handing me glass after glass of prosecco. Tolani and Audrey, 2/3rds of The Receipts Podcast who have provided me with laughs upon laughs and have me cracking up on my commute, my big sisters in my head. Ngoni, Zahra, and Kristabel, whose blogs inspired me to wax stronger with my own content, their constant, consistent kindness and everlasting patience awe-inspiring. Nouvella, Tina, Debbie, Christabel, Itse, Aunty Georgina who welcomed me into church with the warmest hugs, shoulders to cry on and godly advice. Alisha, and all the womxn in the black female architect's group, my safe haven in Architecture, particularly when I was dealing with difficult bosses earlier on in the year. Damola, Koyinsola, Teju, Aunty Bukky, my sisters who I have shared many a laughing on the floor crying moment (Nigerian humour is honestly the best!). My mother’s sisters, who I deem my other mamas, powerful, strong, soft and warm women, who treat me like their own, showering me with encouragement, showing all of their friends my blog’s (hey aunties!). And my Mother, a symbol of resistance, a mountain of a woman, a vessel of God’s faith and good works, the one who carried me, birthed me and raised me to be the unapologetically black. The woman who drilled into me that the world will say I can’t, but I most definitely can. The woman who reminds me every day to be softer, to smooth the rough scaly ridges of microaggressions that have found themselves embedded in my brown skin, a protective shell from a space I feel foreign in. The woman who reminds me every day that “You cannot come and die from stress, so just enjoy life! You are so young! Enjoy life baby girl!”.
All these women and so many more (I am incredibly lucky to know and be involved in the lives of so many warm kind people!). Tiny invisible threads weaving us together. Being a woman is hard. Being black is hard. Being a black woman is harder, but sisterhood, hearing stories of rebirth, regeneration, healing. It makes it easier, it makes it a pleasure, it makes it absolutely, undeniably amazing. For all the ones who paved the path before me, I salute you, for all those who walk hand in hand with me, I love you, and to the ones who will come after me, I hope I would have done you proud.
Black history month is coming up and I really want to contribute some written pieces and would love to hear your input, currently, I'm writing something on the rise of 'black excellence' and the pressures I feel to 'succeed' as a second gen immigrant. What would you like to read?

P.S Thank you for the warm welcome back!

Photography by Yossy Akinsanya

Sade xo

8 comments

  1. Amazing blog post Sade, had me tearing up which is not like me. ��

    Mucho Love- Tina

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  2. Girl,your words are so full of truth 🙌🏾. Your amazing!
    #SoGood💞

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  3. Amazing post, can't wsit to see what else you produce in the lead up to black history month.

    Stay amazing girll 💕

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  4. Anonymous8/24/2018

    Such a warming post to read! You have a real gift with words and don't even get me start on those pictures; that dress was made for you and the hair is perfection. It sounds like you have a great network of black women supporting you and I'm sure they also value the support and love you give them.
    C x

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  5. The writing in this flows so beautifully, you’re so gifted Sade. Sisterhood is everything and black sisterhood particularly is so important when one lives in the western world. Even if it’s just a smile and a nod as you walk past each other, it means everything. I’m so honoured to have been mentioned in this post as one of your sisters, you don’t know how much it means to me. Writing aside, these pictures are so beautiful and I look forward to your post on black excellence.
    cocobellablog.com

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  6. My dear Sade, what a beautiful post. It was warming to read just how we are all linked, how we can continue to support and encourage one another and I'm glad that I am part of your journey. It's so weird, because I was thinking about your first time at church the other day. Your letter is overdue, but it's on it's way. Love Nellie xxxx

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  7. Anonymous8/26/2018

    Wow! Such an amazing post! Can't wait to see your next post!

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  8. I love this post as much Sade. Remembered that I didn't comment that morning and I wanted to come back and let you know you are so important <3.

    So much love to Yossy too, these images are gorgeous

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Thankyou for commenting :) I read every single one!

XOXO Sade

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