In my personal experience, there has been no year where sisterhood, brotherhood, and love have been more significant than in 2015. Yes, we have stories of the 80s; personal experiences our mothers and their mothers and aunts and friends have passed down to us—stories of riots and anger, yet love and compassion and a bond thicker than the events themselves.
Then this past year these things—unimaginable things—were put to the test again. Far too often, we found ourselves on the defensive and boiling with anger, fighting dueling feelings of helplessness, brokenness, vulnerability, and pride. And in the dark, we sat. We talked. We cried—oh, did we cry. We leaned on each other and shed more tears than prophets could have foretold. When our hearts were heavy and the melanin in our skin tried to force a wedge in what we believed in, we continued to build. Because when there seems to be nothing left, all you really have left is faith in the piecing together of shattered bits. For the faith that stares back at you in those shattered pieces has no choice but to be louder, fiercer, and gentler than what was.
While our wombs ache deep and our hearts tangle for the brown boys we raise, we sisters stick together and hold on to what our grandmothers preached. We hold fast to the times and welcome our sisters with skin lighter than ours, but matched in grief. We accept that yes, they are our sisters. They are in pain. And while their wombs don’t shatter at the sight of every headline, their hearts still sink. Their shoulders become heavy and they become weary too. They’re on the line.
2015 has taught me that it exists around every corner, if I seek it. And even when I don’t, it is there waiting in the night, yearning to bring us in and wrap us warm. It is waiting to battle with us, to openly cry with heaviness too. It’s waiting to piece together in darkness, only to come out thicker and more profound. Sisterhood is waiting.
Editorial created in conjunction with my sisters: Rubi Jones on hair; Maia Harms on photography; modeled by Antia Joseph and myself. Leap Dress and Tabernacle Suit by Samantha Pleet; and skirt by Family Affairs.