What Is Sisterhood ?

In 1881, Spelman College was founded in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church by missionaries Sophia B Packard and Harriet E Giles. These two women traveled south to study the living conditions of freed Blacks and vowed after their trip to return to Georgia and open a school to educate Black women and girls. 135 years later, Spelman College is the top Historically Black college in the United States of America, producing half of Black women doctors (medical and PhD) in the USA.

However, this is not the why I chose Spelman, I did not want to go to Spelman, at one point Spelman was the last place I wanted to be. I later learned that you don’t solely choose Spelman, Spelman chooses you, and for that I am extremely grateful and receiving my Colombia blue acceptance packet was one of the happiest days of my life.

For the record, this is not a recruitment speech for Spelman College, if it were that I’d probably ask for a reimbursement of the percentage of tuition money used for the upkeep of Spelman’s pristinely kept lawns. No, I am here to speak about sisterhood.

Founder's Day White Dress Tradition, C. Bannister, Spelman College Atlanta GA
Founder’s Day White Dress Tradition, C. Bannister, Spelman College Atlanta GA

Sisterhood exists within a community of women/girls. It is shown through caring, encouraging, listening to and empowering each other. It is a strong bond, something to take pride in. It is not comparing your achievements to your sister’s, but it is being inspired and celebrating in each other’s triumphs. Sisterhood is staying up all night together so everyone can go into an exam confidently, and researching scholarships and internships so each other can continue to dream big and succeed. Sisterhood is working on a community service project, attending your sister’s performance, and supporting her in solidarity against sexual violence. Sisterhood is doing your part to improve your group for the next generation, and doing the electric slide care-freely at every. Social. Function.  Sisterhood is greeting each other wherever you are in the world; at the mall, in airports, at school (not only at group meetings), on Twitter. It is knowing you have a safe place to be the magical person you are.

At Spelman, sisterhood was the solution. Sisterhood was an expectation from the very beginning and it is even after we walk under the Alumnae Arch and out of her gates. I am so blessed to have experienced a bond such as this and even if you may never attend Spelman College or the like, I encourage you to work toward cultivating a sisterhood that becomes a meaningful part of your life too.