We exit the car, walk into the house, and eyeball the room for an open seat. The room becomes crowded, children finding their seats on floors and chair arms. Friends and neighbors enter the house with slanted smiles, warm hugs, and servant hearts. Pastors come in ready to work the room and spread the good news. Church members hurry past with steaming dishes, desserts, and drinks. Neighbors and friends rush to make plates and serve the bereaved. Dressed in all black, fresh dirt on our shoe heels, balled up Kleenex in one hand, an obituary in the other, we look at each other not really know what to say, trying to grasp the fact that we just buried a close family member. Hot fried chicken, cheesy macaroni, and chilled potato salad replace words we couldn’t find. Full stomachs help us talk and laugh, crack jokes and reminisce on our loved one. The sun begins to set and we all kiss and hug goodbye, when several of us begin to ask, “Why does someone have to die before we get together like this?” And, we all agree, “Let’s do it more often.”
5 years later…
The phone chain begins. Aunt Sarah has died. And, we plan for another
family reunion funeral.
This story isn’t just representative of my family; It’s a depiction of the black race. When a tragedy strikes, we feel it together. Suddenly, we can tolerate one another long enough to stand together in unity. We remember that we’re family and what hurts one, hurts us all. I just wished we remembered this daily.
In less than 2 weeks, black women are coming together on Twitter to discuss the concept that we are all connected. We’ll be using the hashtag #IAmMySister. As I was thinking of #IAmMySister, I thought of Trayvon Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton. What a very real feeling of what it means to not just be our sister’s keeper, but to be our sister.
**For more information about #IAmMySister Twitter hashtag party click here.**
When we heard the not guilty verdict, we all felt like our son’s killer had gotten away with murder. We all imagined having our husband, dad, brother, son, or nephew violently killed while trying to make it home. Our hearts ached. The reality of the world we live in became all too real. The light of our future was dimmed. We felt sick, angry, upset, devastated, and hurt for our sister, Sybrina Fulton.
I wish we could remember our connection when we’re contemplating sleeping with our sister’s husband. I wish we could remember our connection before we start to bully and/or fight with our sister. I wish we remembered our connection before we spread lies, rumors, or hurtful truths about our sister.
We don’t have to wait until a tragedy strikes to stand with our sister. Everyday we’re surrounding by sisters who need our love, prayers, and support. I guarantee that you know a sister who feels lost and wants to give up. Go sit in the valley with her and help her climb her way out. And, for God’s sake, please don’t be the reason she’s there!
As much as I’m disgusted with racism, the justice system and all the evil in the world, I’m equally, if not more, disgusted with black people hurting other black people, especially black women hurting other black women.
Let’s stand together every day of the week, not only in the face of death and tragedy.