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Sister Circle Solace


Author
Majella Mark, USA

Website: metgodshesblack.com
︎@metgodshesblack


Photographer
@phinazeephotography



I found solace in my Sister Circles. Called different names in different countries, it’s been a tradition in the African American community for over 150 years. After slavery ended in the United States, black women needed to keep their people intact, by making sure they took care of each other while simultaneously taking care of their community.

It has become one of the few things that keeps black women pushing in a society that has proven on numerous occasions that it's not for them. Through the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and Black Lives Matter, black women historically showcased their strength and resilience not only through the obstacle of racism, but sexism and other sociological challenges that have maintained obsessive mentalities being overcast by suppose historical milestones as a Black president, Beychella or a hashtag on Instagram.

Like myself, many women who wake up with black skin look at their phone full of alerts, reminding them that once they leave their sanctuary, they are in battle. They are in battle, code switching in order to make their white counterparts feel comfortable, they are in battle to prove their worth, fighting to be visible, and they are in battle to emotionally gather themselves throughout the day as they face micro-aggressions, blatant disrespect and constant dismissal. We then go home to a glass of wine, our children or our altar to mend our wounds. Hopefully safe in our homes, safe to be ourselves, safe to sob and then wake up the next day to do it all over again.

As the unfortunate African American saying goes “Black people don’t go to therapy, we go to church”. The concept of gathering as black people to maintain an energy of empowerment is one of the few practices that connects us all as black people around the world. Many of us continue the feminine tradition, finding grounding through our sister circles as an alternative to repeatedly having to educate the therapists and counselors about our black experiences. We have a moment to be among other sisters to express our sorrow, to pray, to vent, and to cry without shame.

Like the black women before us, we first call on our ancestors to be with us as we sit through our bonding ritual that consists of meditation, discussion, and reflection. We sing as a thank you to the ancestors. We consult with our sisters on challenges faced in our lives. We console our sisters who are having the toughest time. We remember those who came before us with our stories and remember the solidity we must have to keep us all in motion.

As a circle of sisters exudes an energy that demonstrates everything that is black girl magic, we end our gathering feeling better about ourselves, our identity and our purpose. We head home a bit more optimistic than we came. We possess solace in our ritual in order to give solace to our black community for the sake of survival.