Greek life has always been a part of my childhood and teenage years. My godmother is SGR (Sigma Gamma Rho) and my father was a Kappa (Kappa Alpha Psi). I thought once upon a time (and even a month ago) about pledging DST (Delta Sigma Theta). I even thought about pledging AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha) because the mother in my last life, Phylicia Rashad, is an AKA!

I  wanted to pledge because of the tradition, the history and the community within a community. I wanted that, and thought that was essential especially among Black women.  I believe the tradition of Black Greek life adds to the fabric of our rich history and tapestry of this nation. It shows a portion of our history that is known to us, and not as familiar to the rest of the outside world. There is a portion of history our names are added to. It’s our original For Us, By Us.

Even in the original for us, by us, we still see the mystique that all Black women have. Even when not in an atmosphere where the organization is spoken of first, we still call one another this, “Sis.”

A term of endearment, familiar and comforting all at once. This knowledge that the woman you see before you is fighting, hustling and trying to make life better for them, theirs and all the hold.

To have that collective power, collective familiarity in the form of a sorority, is powerful. The need for that camaraderie beyond gossiping, keekees and shade is necessary! Black women can inflict the most horrendous pain on one another:  since we are black women, we know what weaknesses, soft spots and insecurities most black women have.

Whether when you say “Sis” as a term of endearment  or  to recognize as a soror, recognize the weight of the word. Recognize that the woman you are sitting next to, working next to, in these innanet beefs with, is jumping the same hurdles as you are–if not more.

Sis is whom we are all to one another.

The Sisterhood is where we as black women all have a piece and a stake in. Even if you aren’t a soror. It is not m job to make the life of another black woman harder than what it really must be.  It is my job to make sure the black women in my life know they are loves, valued and know they matter.

That’s what sisters do. If you call me your sister, or if I call you my sister, there are some things this title, this term of endearment demands. In the face of crazy, in the face of the world that wants us to devour each other, can we not decide to do better?

Let this be a stepping stone to better. We are better than what we see around us, and what we need to become is before us. Since it is, since we here, I’ll leave you with this:

“Let’s get it, Sis.”


Jennifer P. Harris

The Ideal Firestarter


[image from Google Images]

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