If you are a black woman who watched the 2015 Emmy’s, I’m sure you are in heaven today! If you’re not, well…maybe this post will rub off on you! It was an INCREDIBLE night for Black Girls who rock in all of their talented, inspiring and melanated glory:
Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Crazy Eyes on the hit Netflix show. Regina King won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in American Crime (Her FIRST! About time!) And drum roll please…(drdrdrdrdrdrdrdrrddrrdd) Viola Davis won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role in Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away With Murder. THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TO WIN THIS AWARD! Can you say Herstory maker?! (P.S You can click the names to hear their amazing speeches!)
(We’re also clapping it up for Reg E. Cathey who snagged Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series!)
Along with our Queens who were crowned, we want to celebrate Angela Bassett, Monique, Cicely Tyson, Taraji P Henson, Anthony Anderson, David Oyelowo, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander, Keegan-Michael Key, Tituss Burgess, Michael Kenneth Williams, Niecy Nash, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dee Rees, Jordan Peele, and John Ridley for their 2015 Emmy Nominations as well!
I wasn’t intending on watching the Emmys at first, but I’m glad I did. I cried my face off. I was so relieved the women I’ve watched for so long were making history and finally getting the caliber of recognition they deserved. But outside of that, what really won me over was the pure and profound sistahhood demonstrated by other women of color who were nominated for the same categories. From Taraji’s zealous “YASSSSSS” after announcing Regina’s win, Viola’s and Taraji’s embrace before she accepted her award, to Kerry’s freeflowing tears listening to Viola’s speech, the collaborative support that drifted around the room was divine!
This display of love isn’t spotlight on a regular basis. In fact, black harmony tends to be disregarded as boring. Instead, media likes to feed us discourse and destruction. Remember earlier last year when Mona Scott launched a distasteful reality show about sorority life called “Sorority Sisters”? As with many reality shows, they display women who seemingly have a catty, combative, jealous and shallow demeanor about them. Although I do not think these images represent the women in their totality, it is discouraging to see women portrayed in such a destructive manner. After I allowed my Emmy’s excitement to settle and nutured my vocal cords back to life (my voice was literally shot), I was reminded why sisterhood, specifically Greek sisterhood, is so positive and imperative.
YOU OKAY SIS?! – SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Earlier last week, my Link called me to ask how I was doing. And not the candy-coated version. She asked how I was really doing. Knowing that I am overly optimistic person by default, this gesture really hit home. I wasn’t completely okay and she allowed me to open up. Being a sister means being invested in your friends inside and out. People who take true consideration for others feelings, mindsets and souls inspire me. Having this kind of sisterhood support system is important because:
- Sometimes you can’t do it on your own: So many times, especially as black women, we are taught to be STRONG BLACK WOMEN all the time. And quite honestly, that’s not healthy. We have to learn how to ask for help. It’s not a crime and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. As I tell people when I lend a helping hand, let me be a blessing. Don’t let your pride block something that God has sent to assist you. Establishing a strong sisterhood can be the relief you prayed for. Whether it’s just venting, asking for references, a place to stay for a few days, or whatever you need, sisters will undertand your point of struggle and serve as that support system to not only get you through, but lift you higher. Remember, you’re not heavy, you’re my sister.
- We need someone to be vulnerable with: Vulnerability is a scary thing. I, myself, am not the most vulnerable person. But, I do find that it is helpful and healing when I find someone I can candidly confide in. I learn things about myself. I learn about the integrity and heart of the person I’m letting my guard down around. Knowing, sensing and experiencing someone who just let’s you be is the most freeing feeling in the world. Especially, when it comes from a woman. Sisters who cultivate places, spaces and faces for us to be open ultimately establish a safety net for us that isn’t easily found elsewhere. They’re a safehaven we can fall on when we’re were down. But that person also serves as a trampoline. Yes, you’re going to fall and they’ll let you sit in sorrow for a minute, but they’ll also help you bounce right back and help you get your bearings. Vulnerability exposes you, and a great sisterhood helps you not only cover your wounds, but helps them heal.
- Gives us a different perspective in difficult situations: There have been times when I’ve called my Link, my Sandz, my Number, Prophyte, whoever, to just get perspective on different things. I don’t know how to handle some things and even worse, I don’t know where to start. Talking to women who have faced what I’ve faced offers wisdom I couldn’t muster up if I tried. Being in a sorority, whether you’re in the same organization or not, we’re all dealing with similiar trials and tribulations. When you’re living in a world that undermines womanness and our impact, it can be stressful and frustrating. Being there as familiar listening ear, offering wise words of advice or a simple kind compliment can boost someone’s day more than you know.
YOU BETTER WORK: SUCCESS SQUAD
One thing I don’t tolerate in my circle or my personal space is cattiness and gossip. I am all about uplifting people I adore and the people in my community! What I absolutely loved about last night was Taraji P Henson’s unwavering, unapologetic and illuminous excitement she displayed for her friends when they won their Emmys. This is exactly how I feel when any friend of mine achieves a milestone.When my sisters get a new job, makes a new sale on a house, gets accepted into an MBA program, graduates from college, gets a promotion, gets engaged or married, teaches their child something new, etc, I celebrate for the following reasons:
- They’re motivational mentors: I aim to live a life where the phrase “Aspire to Inspire” is my life’s motto and an active life mission. Therefore, I surround myself around women who I can be inspired by. Whether they know it or not, my Greek girlfriends mentor me on a daily basis. They are achieving amazing things in their lives that encourage me to push past my limits. They also teach me to avoid any mistakes they’ve made. Seeing the work my friends put in for their personal careers AND their organizations is nothing less than astounding. Immersing yourself around women who are kind in heart and ambitiously driven will make you want to contribute to the positive energy they’re creating. Sisters teach you various ways of getting to your destination. They want better for you like you want better for yourself. With this kind of network, you can’t lose.
- They’re my benchmark: My friends serve as my camrads and my benchmarks. Everytime I think I’m not capable of doing something or feel I’m too young to be in a certain position, I look at my peers. They are doing it – ALL. I have living, breathing examples of what’s possible all around me. My girlfriends serve as a reminder of how powerful and resilient I can be. And right when I think I’ve reached the pinnacle of my achievement, a friend accomplishes something else and reminds me I have higher peaks to conquer. They say it’s lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow in the footsteps of the ones who trailblazed the path, the journey to the top will be much easier.
- They’re my community members: I think of my Greek sisters as a community. Not just the ladies in my sorority, but sister sororities as well. My network of women is outstandingly active. They build up their communities with their engagement, their intellect, and their love for their families and others. Being apart of a group that makes it their mission to enhance the lives of all is always beneficial. There are so many resources and knowledge moving from hand to hand, you can’t help but join in. The stronger your interdependent community is, the more influence you make in arenas that were once closed to you. We are movements by ourselves, but we’re a force when we’re together. We are good all by ourselves, but when we’re a group, we make life better. (You see what I did there?)
As I start singing “Ninja we made it“, I want to dedicate this blog to the wonderful women of the 2015 Emmys. Thank you for showing us what Black Excellence, Black Girl Glory and Sistahhood looks like manifested and celebrated. (If you like the gif, full video is here boy!)
And to Greek sisters and ALL my Sister-Friends: I love you. I appreciate you. I am here for you. I support you. I pray for you. I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of you and the women you are becoming. Cheers to you!